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# In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel

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In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 25 Jan 2019, 03:16
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69% (01:27) correct 31% (01:46) wrong based on 1867 sessions

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In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

Originally posted by bkk145 on 09 Oct 2007, 20:10.
Last edited by Bunuel on 25 Jan 2019, 03:16, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2017, 15:28
7
Hello @rahulk2801!

You have presented a good analysis of the official sentence.

Here is my two cents on this official question.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced: Incorrect

i. Presence of and indicates the presence of a list. However, there is no entity before and that is parallel to falling.
ii. Demonstrative pronoun this must be followed by a noun. However, there is no noun following this in this choice.
iii. Use of simple past tense reduced is incorrect because the plans do not reduce anything. Their implementation does.
iv. Since and prompted are redundant together because since has been used to mean because.

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce: Incorrect

i. Use of past perfect tense had been overcome is incorrect because the action of getting affected by pollution and falling from the sky were happening at the same time. There is no need for any sequencing in the sentence.
ii. There is no noun antecedent for pronoun it. In this choice, it seems to refer to the action were falling. This reference is most definitely incorrect.
iii. This choice repeats the redundancy error of Choice A.
iv. This choice retains the would reduce error, similar to the one we saw in Choice A.

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced: Incorrect

i. This choice repeats the verb tense error of Choice B.
ii. This choice repeats the verb tense error of Choice A.
iii. This choice repeats the reduced error of Choice A.

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce: Correct

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce: Incorrect

i. This choice distorts the intended meaning by saying that the birds were prompted the officials to devise a plan.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2010, 22:33
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The best way is to eliminate the choices that have "falling". So A, B and E are OUT.

C and D are left.

C. birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced ----> Had overcome the usage is wrong. You use past perfect to sequence the events not for stating parallel things "and" denotes parallelism.

D. birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce --------> D uses past tense - "fell"
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 19 Mar 2018, 07:46
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bkk145 wrote:
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

A. since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced - awkward - were, falling reduced
B. since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce
C. birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced -- had been - going on action, reduced is past - so wrong
D. birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce
E. birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce--- were prompting - is wrong since birds dint prompt the officials

So we are left with D

Originally posted by spider on 10 Oct 2007, 07:41.
Last edited by mvictor on 19 Mar 2018, 07:46, edited 1 time in total.
corrected quote
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2014, 09:50
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In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

A.since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways,this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced
B. since birdsthat had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it promptedofficials in California to devise a plan that would reduce
C. birds had been overcomeby pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced
D. birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce ...CORRECT...
E. birds overcome by pollution and routinely fallingfrom the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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19 Jul 2017, 15:15
1
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

A. since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

this is incorrect. This should be used as a possessive adjective only and not as a pronoun replacing a noun. Also, it is trying to replace a verb (falling).
Also, plan to is the correct idiom in this case (should avoid plan to only if the sentence was like 'to plan to something').

B. since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce

it is incorrect. Pronouns cannot replace verbs. Plan to, same as A

C. birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

Again, plan to. Also, all birds were overcome by pollution? This alternative has a meaning problem

D. birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

overcome modifies birds, no meaning problem. The -ing modifier starting with prompting correctly modifies the preceding clause, making it clear that the falling of the birds prompted the officials. Plan to is correct.

E. birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

This alternative sounds funny, birds were prompting officials? Also, and is wrong here because there is nothing else happening to birds overcome by pollution
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2017, 00:56
bkk145 wrote:
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

Because of the very vastness of grammar, I have always found the elimination method to get correct answer in SC.

I will try to reason it via "Process of Elimination" :

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced - Different verb tense- parallelism error

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce - Same as A. Unparallel and differnt verb tense

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinelyfell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced - Same as A and B- Unparallel. First verb is past perfect and second one is present tense.

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce -Though this is awkward sounding but i dont see any error grammatically, so at this moment will leave it.Also it fixes the earlier error.

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce - Unparallel again. So eliminated.

Now we can see, we are left with only option D. Though its really awkward, specially because of the use of modifier "prompting. But still i will choose D as others have clear errors.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2017, 07:13
egmat wrote:
Hello @rahulk2801!

You have presented a good analysis of the official sentence.

Here is my two cents on this official question.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced: Incorrect

i. Presence of and indicates the presence of a list. However, there is no entity before and that is parallel to falling.
ii. Demonstrative pronoun this must be followed by a noun. However, there is no noun following this in this choice.
iii. Use of simple past tense reduced is incorrect because the plans do not reduce anything. Their implementation does.
iv. Since and prompted are redundant together because since has been used to mean because.

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce: Incorrect

i. Use of past perfect tense had been overcome is incorrect because the action of getting affected by pollution and falling from the sky were happening at the same time. There is no need for any sequencing in the sentence.
ii. There is no noun antecedent for pronoun it. In this choice, it seems to refer to the action were falling. This reference is most definitely incorrect.
iii. This choice repeats the redundancy error of Choice A.
iv. This choice retains the would reduce error, similar to the one we saw in Choice A.

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced: Incorrect

i. This choice repeats the verb tense error of Choice B.
ii. This choice repeats the verb tense error of Choice A.
iii. This choice repeats the reduced error of Choice A.

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce: Correct

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce: Incorrect

i. This choice distorts the intended meaning by saying that the birds were prompted the officials to devise a plan.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

Is it a rule that demonstrative pronoun "this" must be followed by a noun? Can you put some light on this concept?
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2017, 14:06
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pikolo2510 wrote:

Is it a rule that demonstrative pronoun "this" must be followed by a noun? Can you put some light on this concept?

Hello pikolo2510,

Yes, on GMAT SC, it is a rule that demonstrative pronouns must be followed by the noun they refer to.

For example:

I found an old pen in the attic; this belonged to my great grandfather. ---> Incorrect because this is not followed by the noun.

I found an old pen in the attic; this pen belonged to my great grandfather. ---> Correct because this is followed pen, the noun it is meant to refer to.

This is all we need to know about demonstrative pronouns to solve GMAT SC problems correctly.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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26 Nov 2017, 00:05
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced - This needs to be followed by a noun ; The tense of "reduced" doesn't make sense, because the reduction hadn't happened yet.

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce - pronoun it does not refer to anything

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced - The tense of "reduced" doesn't make sense, because the reduction hadn't happened yet.

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce - Correct

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce - The core of the sentence is "birds ... were prompting". According to that sentence, the birds themselves were "prompting" political action, during the timeframe of the sentence. I.e., while they were falling out of the sky, cold and dead, they whipped out their telephones and called California politicians.

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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2017, 00:21
bkk145 wrote:
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced
* "Birds" isn't qualified/modified/narrowed down in any way, thus suggesting that birds in general were falling out of the sky. I.e., basically all birds were dying from pollution. (If you say Americans are paying less for gas then they did last year, that means all Americans -- at least the vast majority of them -- or Americans in general.)
* "This" is used as a pronoun.
* "Since" + "prompted" = redundant.
* The tense of "reduced" doesn't make sense, because the reduction hadn't happened yet.

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce
similar errors as in option A. Also, what does "it" refers to here? There is no LOGICAL ANTECEDENT for "it".

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced
* "And" doesn't make sense as a connector; it fails to convey the relationship between "being overcome by pollution" and "falling out of the sky".

* "That reduced" doesn't work, for two different reasons.
First, it's in the same timeframe as the rest of the sentence, illogically suggesting simultaneity. (To use the same past tense for things that are not sequential or simultaneous, you'd ordinarily use additional time markers, e.g., In 1955 Harry met Linda, who later became his wife. Without "later", the impression is that the two met and got married almost instantly.)
Second, a plan doesn't reduce emissions. You can make a plan to reduce emissions, but the actual reduction comes from the actions outlined in the plan. Not from the plan itself.

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce
Correct!

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce
The biggest problem here is that the core of the sentence is "birds ... were prompting".

According to that sentence, the birds themselves were "prompting" political action, during the timeframe of the sentence. i.e., while they were falling out of the sky, cold and dead, they whipped out their telephones and called California politicians.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2018, 13:38
sayantanc2k , egmat

Doesn't option D gives a feeling that birds prompted officials to devise a plan. I am a little confused on this
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2018, 09:54
bkk145 wrote:
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

D is clear and concise.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2018, 19:09
prateek176 wrote:
Doesn't option D gives a feeling that birds prompted officials to devise a plan. I am a little confused on this

Hi Prateek, that actually is the intended meaning as well. More specifically, an action of the birds (the falling of birds from the sky) prompted officials to devise a plan.

This is a classical usage of present participial phrase (prompting officials in California to devise a plan) that depicts a cause (the falling of birds) and an effect (officials devising a plan).

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Participial phrases, their application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2019, 08:54
I thought that verb-ing modifiers that come after a clause and are separated by a comma, can only describe the preceding action if both the verb-ing modifier and the actual action refer to the same object! In other words: they must have the same "doer".

Obviously, birds cannot prompt people to do sth, so the use of verb-ing modifier and thus option (D) must be wrong here.

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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2019, 12:55
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ddavy wrote:
I thought that verb-ing modifiers that come after a clause and are separated by a comma, can only describe the preceding action if both the verb-ing modifier and the actual action refer to the same object! In other words: they must have the same "doer".

Obviously, birds cannot prompt people to do sth, so the use of verb-ing modifier and thus option (D) must be wrong here.

This is a very subtle point: an "-ing" modifier that follows a clause doesn't describe the subject of the previous clause directly, but rather, it either offers more information about the action performed by that subject or describes a consequence of this action.

Take a simple example: "Andrea's kids used the family's Faberge egg as a football, prompting their mother to punish them for several months." In this sentence, it's not quite accurate to say that Andrea's kids prompted her to ground them - the children themselves were not asking for punishment. Rather, the punishment was a consequence of the kids' action of using the faberge egg as a football. That's perfectly logical.

Same idea in (D): "Birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan..." Again, the birds themselves didn't prompt the officials to devise a plan, but the prompting was a consequence of the action performed by the birds, namely, having fallen from the sky. This also makes sense, so (D) is correct.

I hope that helps!
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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26 Jan 2019, 05:41
That helps, thank you very much GMATNinja !
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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13 Feb 2019, 12:18
I think (E) would be a correct choice if the verb "were prompting" was replaced with "prompted".
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2019, 02:39
bkk145 wrote:
In the mid-1970’s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced automobile emissions.

(A) since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, this prompted officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(B) since birds that had been overcome by pollution were routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, it prompted officials in California to devise a plan that would reduce

(C) birds had been overcome by pollution and routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan that reduced

(D) birds overcome by pollution routinely fell from the sky above Los Angeles freeways, prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

(E) birds overcome by pollution and routinely falling from the sky above Los Angeles freeways were prompting officials in California to devise a plan to reduce

look at choice C. two things inhere.
"plan that reduced" is incorrect. "plan" can not reduce. "plan to reduce" is correct. in the pattern NOUN+TO DO, there are some meaning relations between noun and to do. in this case, to reduce work as appositive modifying "plan"
the girl , a british girl, is the persons I met in Halong bay. this is an example of appositive.

second thing.
prompting take the tense of the main clause "had been " and "fail". prompting will take which tense. part perfect is wrong here because it make prompting has no time.
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Re: In the mid-1970s, since birds were overcome by pollution, and routinel  [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2019, 06:30
egmat chetan2u
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