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In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les

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In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.


(A) chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week

(B) chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week

(C) chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997

(D) chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997

(E) chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997


https://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/11/us/children-study-longer-and-play-less-a-report-says.html

Children age 3 to 11 years of age spent on average four hours a day in preschool or school in the early 1980's and now spend an average of six hours a day in preschool or school. The 1981 study reported that children spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores. By 1997, the year the field research was conducted, that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week.

Originally posted by humtum0 on 09 Aug 2008, 16:41.
Last edited by Bunuel on 30 Sep 2018, 04:38, edited 6 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2014, 12:46
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Nitinaka19 wrote:
HI E-GMAT,
In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.
A. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week
B. spent slightly less than an average of two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week
C. had spent slightly less than two and a half hours, on an average, per week doing household chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997
D. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997
E. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997

my queries is , Once the time frame is mention in the choices by In 1981 and By 1997 , then why we required past perfect tense? Could you please help me where I'm getting wrong .

Secondly , In choice B , could you please explain how the second clause is a Independent clause ,which started with "by 1997" construction ?.

Finally ,Choice C Isn't it the "compared with a figure" is a correct modifier?

Thanks


Hi Nitin,

1. We need the past perfect tense because this action happened first. The action indicated by the phrase "by 1997" happened later. Note that the two time periods pertaining to the past perfect tense here are not 1981 and 1997. The part after the semicolon shows the two tenses that this tense refers to. That is, this part of the sentence tells you that they had spent a certain number of hours doing household chores in the time leading up to 1997. Action 1: had spent; action 2: by 1997.

2. An independent clause can certainly begin with a modifier of time. "By 1997" is a prepositional phrase telling you when an action took place. It's not a dependent marker. The subject + verb part of this clause comes after this phrase.

3. "Compared with" is acceptable in this context, but the comparison in option D isn't very clear. It seems to be comparing "children" with "the figure".

I hope this helps to clarify your doubts.

Regards,
Meghna
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2014, 08:03
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semwal wrote:
In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.

INCORRECT PORTIONS HIGHLIGHTED....EVEN "A " HAPPEARS TO HAVE PROBLEMS......SEE HIGHLIGHTED PORTION....

A. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997they had spentnearly six hours a week.... CORRECT...IT COVERS TIME BEFORE AND AFTER 1997....1997 IS THE EVENT THAT CHANGED THE PAST PERFECT TO SIMPLE PAST....
B. spent slightly less than an averageof two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week..
C.had spentslightly less than two and a half hours, on an average, per week doing household chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997
D. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997
E. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores,that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997


Forget the grammar option A isn't logical. If you say "In 1981", you can use average figure, but if you say "By 1997", you have to use the absolute total figure. For e.g.
In 2010 my wife spent an average of $1000 a month on beauty products; by 2012 she had spent $2000 a month.
This is completely illogical, if she was spending 1K a month in 2010 and by 2012 she was spending 2K a month, when did she started mooching off the extra $1K :P. Clearly if we use the "By 2012" construction we need the total amount she had spend. For e.g.
In 2010 my wife spent an average of $1000 a month on beauty products; by 2012 she had spent $24000 of my hard earned cash.

If we want to specify the increase in spending then we must use the construct
In 2010 my wife spent an average of $1000 a month on beauty products; by 2012 that figure had grown to $2000 a month.

So lets get to the options one by one

A) Wrong due to above reason
C) Use of "whereas" suggests a contrast, now to contrast properly we require that the two parts of the comparison have the same construct. 1st part is in active voice (had spent), but the 2nd part is in passive voice (were spent).
D) What are the 2 things compared here, it appears that "household chores" are compared with "a figure" which is incorrect
E) The use of Growing suggests an ongoing event, but actually the sentence is referring to a past date. So a Past tense is required here.

B) In 1981 XYZ spent on average X hours a week doing something; by 1997 that figure had grown to Y hours a week. - Sounds logical, only concern you might have would be with the Past Perfect tense "had grown". Now Past Perfect is used when there are 2 events that happened in the past and we wish to specify the sequence of those 2 events. The earlier event uses a Past Perfect tense. Here the 2 events are
1) Growth in the figure
2) Start of year 1997
The growth happened before 1997 (by 1997), so the use of Past Perfect is justified here.

by 1997 that figure had grown to Y hours per week. So B is the correct answer.
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2008, 18:01
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humtum0 wrote:
Source: GMAT Sets

Need some explanation:

In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing
household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.

A. chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week -> had spent is not correct since still the process is ongoing one.
B. chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week -> this sounds correct IMO B
C. chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997 -> this is wrong since <active clause>whereas <passive clause>
D. chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997-> are we comparing household chores . this is ambiguous
E. chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997-> what figure.that is ambiguous

Please discuss your ans. , if possible


this is a case of independent clause.hence the second sentence need not depend on first.
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2008, 19:45
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humtum0 wrote:
if two events happened in the past . The recent event should be in simple past and the earliest of the two events should be in past perfect tense...How this is followed in this SC?

In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week

here both the events are in past and are in independent clauses.hence its not necessary that clause 1 and clause 2 should have tense dependency like simpl past and past perfect
eg is :
ramesh left for school at 8am.he had had his breakfast in the morning.

here the scenario different :
ramesh left for school usually at 8 am after excersising;his this particular habit had grown over following months.
had grown implies an even which continued for a while or for a time frame rather than suggesting which occured first.

this is how i understood the context here.
I hope this explanation clears !!
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2009, 10:11
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I am not sure, why lot of questions are not coming in the original form.

Here is the correct version of the question:

sc-in-1981-children-in-the-united-states-spent-68662.html

the question:
In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing
household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.

A. chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week
B. chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week
C. chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997
D. chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997
E. chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997

Please discuss your ans. , if possible
OA
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2009, 15:27
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By POE , only B is the viable option. But why do we need to use "had grown"?? I was researching around and found the below explanation :

" Answer choice B is correct. The verb form "had grown" is the past perfect. Past perfect is used to indicate that a past event (let's call it Event A) occurred prior to some other point in the past (Point B), and served as a kind of background or lead-in to that other point in time.

Often Point B is described as an event, using a past tense verb ("By the time we _got home_, we _had already eaten_ all the chips" -- 'got home' is the B, the point in the past that serves as a kind of reference point, and 'had already eaten' is the A, the event that came *prior* to that) but it doesn't have to be. In this case, Point B, the point in the past, is given simply as "1997," and the form "had grown" is correctly used to indicate that the number grew prior to 1997.""
If someone has a better explanation can please let me know ?
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2011, 21:48
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tejal777 wrote:
Okay I understood why D is wrong and B is right w.r.tverb tense and everything..somebody said that in D there is wrong comparison wheres that is not the case in B.Can somebody please explain what exactly is compared and how in both choices B an D??


in c, d and e - you see 'in 1997' where as A and B reads 'by 1997'. So the sentence reads that in 1981 the figure was x; by 1997 the figure had grown to Y. - 'had' is used correctly in A and B because 'by' is used...
instead 'at 1997' then the sentence should have been in simple past.

and i think A is rejected because of 'they'
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2011, 22:09
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A. chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week: had spent, means an action was already completed, even before a later moment (which here can be by 1997) e.g. when i say- by 1997 i had written 2 novels - it means that i completed the writing of the two novels by the year of 1997. This is not the sense which is implied in the original sentence here.the 'spending' of the 6 hours is not over.. here intention is to compare a trend of how many hours on an average were spent by children in 1981 and 1987, and well, to also focus on the increase in this figure
B. chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week: the option follows all grammatical rules- the clause following the semi colon is independent. that figure is clearly referring back to 'the average number of hours...' had grown is rightly used to indicate a completed action - it shows that the growth in the FIGURE is completed, not that the spending of the hours is completed (as in A)
C. chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997: whereas, intending to bring a comparison in the sentence, needs to be a parallel marker. here the part before whereas is in active voice, while the part after whereas is in passive..that i think by itself makes this option wrong, other than the fact that it loses the emphasis on the growth of the average hours.
D. chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours[/color]a week in 1997: again, i think , two sides of the comparison are not parallel- the clause 'children spent x doing y' is compared here with 'a figure of..'
E. chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997: Misplaced modifer - that is modifying chores!
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2013, 18:55
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carlito wrote:
Can someone please explain me what is wrong with A?
the correct answer is B. however, don't we lose the meaning of the sentence when we bring new verb "had grown" ?

In 1981 children in the United States spent an average
of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing
household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six
hours a week.

A. chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours
a week
B. chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly
six hours a week
C. chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were
spent in 1997
D. chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours
a week in 1997
E. chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a
week in 1997


OK, first of all I will be honest and say I don't love this problem. Choice B uses a semi-colon, which the GMAT uses to connect two independent clauses, but I don't think that the 2nd clause is truly independent.

Now that I have that off my chest :)...the problem with A is really around meaning and verb tense. It doesn't make much sense to say that by 1997 they (students) had spent nearly six hours. That verb tense, the past perfect, is used to describe a past action that precedes some other past action (in this case the year 1997). In essence, choice A is saying that at some point before 1997 the students spent 6 hours a week. We aren't sure if that is a new average or a one-time deal. The better setup would have been: "by 1997 they were spending nearly six hours a week" so we would know that in 1997 the hours per week was at 6 instead of 2.5.

The verb tense in choice B is the same, past perfect, but the subject is different. Now we are talking about the growth of the figure (average hours per week). It makes sense to say that by 1997 the figure had grown to 6 hours - in other words, we have figure that grows from an average of 2.5 in 1981 to nearly 6 by 1997.

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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2013, 13:08
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carlito wrote:
Can someone please explain me what is wrong with A?
the correct answer is B. however, don't we lose the meaning of the sentence when we bring new verb "had grown" ?

In 1981 children in the United States spent an average
of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing
household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six
hours a week.

A. chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours
a week
B. chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly
six hours a week
C. chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were
spent in 1997
D. chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours
a week in 1997
E. chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a
week in 1997


Can you plz put your first sentence with the OA in the protected "reveal" part. It will avoid some to be influenced by knowing directly the OA! Thxs!

I personnally narrow it down B and C. Had problem with C but the parallel structure is not respected, so chose B!

For A, the problem is that we do not know what "they" refers to (could be hours, chores...)!

Hope it helps!
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2014, 03:56
HI E-GMAT,
In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.
A. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week
B. spent slightly less than an average of two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week
C. had spent slightly less than two and a half hours, on an average, per week doing household chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997
D. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997
E. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997

my queries is , Once the time frame is mention in the choices by In 1981 and By 1997 , then why we required past perfect tense? Could you please help me where I'm getting wrong .

Secondly , In choice B , could you please explain how the second clause is a Independent clause ,which started with "by 1997" construction ?.

Finally ,Choice C Isn't it the "compared with a figure" is a correct modifier?

Thanks
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New post Updated on: 05 Mar 2016, 09:29
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This is a tricky question dealing with three important factors: 1. Involving comparison 2. Parallel expression and 3 use of past perfect.
The meaning of the text is that children in 1981 did something. The corresponding comparison in the other arm should be children or equivalent to children; it should not be a figure or an average
Therefore, A gives us the clue that children are duly compared with ‘they’ standing for children once again.
2. Parallelism issue involves a combination of active and passive is less parallel relatively. Therefore, C is inferior. The second parallelism error is that if we are referring to a figure in the later arm, then the word 'figure' should appear in the other part of the sentence. We may see that the figure is not mentioned in the first part. Hence, B, D and E are not parallel.
3. Use of past perfect: The use of past perfect is justified here because the second part of the text is punctuated with a semicolon rendering it independent of the first.
The following link in MGMAT clarifies this point
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 27088.html
Therefore, the use of past perfect is acceptable in A.

The correct answer should be A.
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Originally posted by daagh on 08 Feb 2016, 02:20.
Last edited by daagh on 05 Mar 2016, 09:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2016, 05:09
vaivish1723 wrote:
66.In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week.
A. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week
B. spent slightly less than an average of two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week
C. had spent slightly less than two and a half hours, on an average, per week doing household chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997
D. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997
E. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997






Meaning of the sentence- In 1981, children were spending less than two and a half hours/ week on average, but in 1997 they were spending 6 hours/week.

A. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 they had spent nearly six hours a week
B. spent slightly less than an average of two and a half hours a week doing household chores; by 1997 that figure had grown to nearly six hours a week
C. had spent slightly less than two and a half hours, on an average, per week doing household chores, whereas nearly six hours a week were spent in 1997 past perfect is not required as this doesn't show the sequence of the events
D. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, compared with a figure of nearly six hours a week in 1997. Spending is compared with figure.
E. spent an average of slightly less than two and a half hours a week doing household chores, that figure growing to nearly six hours a week in 1997 growing to is not required. The event happened in the past

Hi! experts and fellow learners, I opted out option A because past perfect is used (by 1997 they had spent), whereas chose option B because 'figure had grown' isn't a past perfect structure. Please advise if I am right.

Also is there any different between 'average of slightly less than two' and 'slightly less than an average of two' in option A and B respectively.

Thanks
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2016, 05:29
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Divyadisha wrote:
Hi! experts and fellow learners, I opted out option A because past perfect is used (by 1997 they had spent), whereas chose option B because 'figure had grown' isn't a past perfect structure. Please advise if I am right.

Hi Divyadisha, actually both are past perfect (had spent and had grown).

By the way, this reminds me of a very similar sentence that we have provided in our book:

In 2007, a typical web user spent less than 4 hours a month on Facebook; by 2011, that figure had gone up to 8 hours.

p.s. This is a slightly sophisticated use of past perfect. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Past perfect tense, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id, I can mail the corresponding section.

Requesting moderators (@chetan2u) to change the OA provided by OP. It should be B (and not A).
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New post 02 Sep 2016, 09:40
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geek_mnnit wrote:
Hi egmat,
Can you please explain why is A wrong?


The intended meaning is:
In 1981 the children spent X hours a week for some work.
In 1997 the children spent Y hours a week for some work.

For option A, first exclude the part "per week" - option A then would imply that when the year 1997 came, children had already spent certain number of hours working. (compare with this sentence: By 3 pm I had already completed 3 hours of exercise - meaning: I had been exercising from 12 noon to 3 pm). This meaning itself is wrong (it is not meant that the children had already completed certain number of hours by 1997). However addition of "per week" makes the sentence senseless altogether. (compare with: By 3 pm I had already completed 3 hours of exercise per day.)
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New post 02 Sep 2016, 10:08
sayantanc2k wrote:
geek_mnnit wrote:
Hi egmat,
Can you please explain why is A wrong?


The intended meaning is:
In 1981 the children spent X hours a week for some work.
In 1997 the children spent Y hours a week for some work.

For option A, first exclude the part "per week" - option A then would imply that when the year 1997 came, children had already spent certain number of hours working. (compare with this sentence: By 3 pm I had already completed 3 hours of exercise - meaning: I had been exercising from 12 noon to 3 pm). This meaning itself is wrong (it is not meant that the children had already completed certain number of hours by 1997). However addition of "per week" makes the sentence senseless altogether. (compare with: By 3 pm I had already completed 3 hours of exercise per day.)


Can you please help me understand why 'had' used for a later event makes B a correct answer choice? I am not clear. I rejected B at the first go because of the usage of 'had' , and then out of the remaining I chose D as the BEST answer.

But its strange B is correct. Kindly help.
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New post 03 Sep 2016, 06:10
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abhimahna wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
geek_mnnit wrote:
Hi egmat,
Can you please explain why is A wrong?


The intended meaning is:
In 1981 the children spent X hours a week for some work.
In 1997 the children spent Y hours a week for some work.

For option A, first exclude the part "per week" - option A then would imply that when the year 1997 came, children had already spent certain number of hours working. (compare with this sentence: By 3 pm I had already completed 3 hours of exercise - meaning: I had been exercising from 12 noon to 3 pm). This meaning itself is wrong (it is not meant that the children had already completed certain number of hours by 1997). However addition of "per week" makes the sentence senseless altogether. (compare with: By 3 pm I had already completed 3 hours of exercise per day.)


Can you please help me understand why 'had' used for a later event makes B a correct answer choice? I am not clear. I rejected B at the first go because of the usage of 'had' , and then out of the remaining I chose D as the BEST answer.

But its strange B is correct. Kindly help.


This structure is a special one and worths remembering - it is easy to get trapped by this one. Following is an excerpt from Manhattan SC guide, in which this concept has been very nicely explained:

Also note that the later past event does not need to be expressed with a Simple Past tense verb. You could just use a date or another time reference.
Right: Bv 1945. the United States HAD BEEN at war for several years.
Using this construction, you can even make a tricky sentence in which the first clause expresses an early action in Simple Past. Then, a second clause expresses a later action in Past Perfect to indicate continued effect (by a still later past time).
Right: The band U2 WAS just one of many new groups on the rock music scene in the early 1980's, but less than ten years later, U2 HAD fully ECLIPSED its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music.
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New post 15 May 2017, 10:15
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abhimahna wrote:
Its like cramming something you feel strange. Anyways, we NEVER know what could help you out on GMAT.

Hi abhimahna, there's no cramming required here, since this concept is not really a variation / exception to the usage of Past perfect tense.

Let's take an example. We would say:

By 1947, British had ruled India for 150 years.

Basically, past perfect implies that two events should have happened in the past. In this case, the two events are:

i) The year 1947
ii) The 150 year rule of the British

Hence, the earlier of the two events (the 150 year rule of the British) is appropriately expressed as past perfect.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses an example based on this very sentence elaborately. Have attached the corresponding section of the book, for your reference.
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New post 11 Jun 2017, 06:50
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Hi EducationAisle,

Can you please elaborate on why A is incorrect here? Option A is similar to your example - "By 1947, British had ruled India for 150 years."
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Re: In 1981 children in the United States spent an average of slightly les   [#permalink] 11 Jun 2017, 06:50

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