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Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as

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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 22:32
We do not require a past perfect when timelines are clearly specified.

Here, the question clearly states "until about 25 years ago....".

C fits best.

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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2017, 22:53
Here is the sentence structure of this sentence:
Clause 1: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as a method of the extraction of minerals,
Clause 2: it was well established as early as the eighteenth century,
Clause 3: but until about 25 years ago miners did not realize
Clause 4: that bacteria took an active part in the process.

Clause 1 does not have any verb. The subject “leaching” does not have any verb. Thus this sentence is a fragment. In addition, clause 2 is not connected appropriately to clause 1. It should be connected using a ; or ,FANBOYS.


Process of Elimination :-

Choice A - 'leaching and it' makes it an error of double subjecting with a single verb
Choice B – Fragment Error: This choice changes clause 2 into a modifier. But it does not address the absence of verb for the subject “leaching”.
Choice C – No errors.
Choice D – Modifier error: The sentence implies that well-established method of mineral extraction was as early as 18th century. This is non-sensical – saying that a method was as early as 18th century. It would have made sense if this said that the method existed as early as 18th century. This error may be construed as SV-Make sense error – the subject – “well established method” does not make sense with the verb – “was”.
Choice E – Verb error: This choice states uses past perfect tense for the verb – had been. This changes the intended meaning of the sentence. This sentence now implies that leaching is no longer a method of mineral extraction. In the light of this information, what follows does not make sense. Since this is no longer a method of mineral extraction, the fact miners realized its working 25 years back becomes invalid. Thus, because this sentences uses past perfect tense as shown, it distorts the intended meaning of the sentence.
Thus, the correct answer is Choice C.
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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2017, 11:29
Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as a method of the extraction of minerals, it was well established as early as the eighteenth century, but until about 25 years ago miners did not realize that bacteria take an active part in the process.

(A) as a method of the extraction of minerals, it was well established - Leaching and it - 2 subjects and one verb
(B) as a method of the extraction of minerals well established - missing verb
(C) was a well-established method of mineral extraction - Correct
(D) was a well-established method of extracting mineral that was - illogical - leaching was not as early as the eighteenth century
(E) had been a method of mineral extraction, well established - tense issue - if the past perfect is used to describe a state or description of something (as opposed to an action verb), it should generally be used to describe a state/description that is no longer the case. since leaching is presumably still an extraction method (this is not the sort of thing that is subject to change), the past perfect is inappropriate.

Also, the modifier (starting with "well established") shouldn't be a nonessential modifier, i.e., it shouldn't be set off by commas.

Answer C
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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2017, 07:45
Hello,

Why is the usage of "had been" is incorrect in choice E. Yes I agree that modifier is wrong, but usage of "had been" which indicates sequencing of events aptly shows the sequencing of events.

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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 11:06
I have two questions here:

1) people are saying that E is wrong because there is only one past event and hence had been should not have been used. But aren't there two past events? i)25 years ago miners realized and ii)When leaching was well established in 18th century.

2) People are saying that had been means that leaching has stopped being the well established process. But isn't the problem same with option C. Since was also means that leaching isn't used anymore now and no information is given about present.

3) for those saying that well established can modify either leaching or mineral extraction, then that is why right? After comma the modifier can modify either of the things.

So what exactly is the problem in E??

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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2017, 11:09
anairamitch1804 wrote:
Here is the sentence structure of this sentence:
Clause 1: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as a method of the extraction of minerals,
Clause 2: it was well established as early as the eighteenth century,
Clause 3: but until about 25 years ago miners did not realize
Clause 4: that bacteria took an active part in the process.

Clause 1 does not have any verb. The subject “leaching” does not have any verb. Thus this sentence is a fragment. In addition, clause 2 is not connected appropriately to clause 1. It should be connected using a ; or ,FANBOYS.


Process of Elimination :-

Choice A - 'leaching and it' makes it an error of double subjecting with a single verb
Choice B – Fragment Error: This choice changes clause 2 into a modifier. But it does not address the absence of verb for the subject “leaching”.
Choice C – No errors.
Choice D – Modifier error: The sentence implies that well-established method of mineral extraction was as early as 18th century. This is non-sensical – saying that a method was as early as 18th century. It would have made sense if this said that the method existed as early as 18th century. This error may be construed as SV-Make sense error – the subject – “well established method” does not make sense with the verb – “was”.
Choice E – Verb error: This choice states uses past perfect tense for the verb – had been. This changes the intended meaning of the sentence. This sentence now implies that leaching is no longer a method of mineral extraction. In the light of this information, what follows does not make sense. Since this is no longer a method of mineral extraction, the fact miners realized its working 25 years back becomes invalid. Thus, because this sentences uses past perfect tense as shown, it distorts the intended meaning of the sentence.
Thus, the correct answer is Choice C.


What problem you are saying with E that it says leaching can't be used anymore, isn't the problem same with option C. Was also denotes that the method is not being used anymore.

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Re: Leaching, the recovery of copper from the drainage water of mines, as [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 03:27
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Perhaps I can help clarify the trouble people are having with past perfect ("had been") vs. simple past ("was").

First, past tense does not necessarily mean that something is no longer true. For instance, I might say "When I was a child, I wanted to grow up fast because my brother was so much older than me." This doesn't mean that my brother is no longer older (thankfully, I still have my brother!). I am just talking about him in a past context. It would be wrong in this case to say "is so much older" just because he is still older.

Second, we don't always need to use past perfect when we have more than one past event. We only use it when the order of those events needs to be clarified or emphasized. For instance, we would say "I was born and raised in California," and not "I had been born in California and then raised there." It's clear enough that being born came first, so there's no need to use the past perfect to clarify. In other cases, we simply don't care which came first. If I say "I have studied French, Spanish, and Russian," I don't need to use "had" to show which came first unless the order is somehow important: "I had already studied French when I started to learn Spanish, so I had an easier time learning vocabulary."

Third, if we are going to use past perfect, we must have a clear time in the past that we are placing our action before. If I say "X had happened," I need to say which past event it preceded, or at what point in the past it had already happened: "X had happened when Y came along" or "By 1850, X, Y, and Z had happened." I was initially going to use "X had happened before Y did," but that's a case that's clear enough without past perfect, so it would be better to use simple past: "X happened before Y did." Notice that dropping "had" from my earlier examples reduces their clarity: "X happened when Y came along." (At the same time? After?) "By 1850, X, Y, and Z happened." (This is not as bad, but it makes it a little less clear that all of these things could have happened at any time before 1850, perhaps even many years earlier.)

Regarding this usage in particular, notice that E doesn't provide any reason to use past perfect. The most simple way to see this is that although we have more than one point in time (the 18th c. and 25 years ago), the main core of sentence does not say that leaching was a method before or by one of those times (the modifier does, but it's not part of the action!). It just says "Leaching had been a method, but until 25 years ago," we didn't know a certain thing about it. When I see "had been a method," I immediately want to know "until what?" The sentence doesn't answer that. On the contrary, it makes it seem that leaching continues--we just know more about it now. Furthermore, even if people stopped using this method, it would still be a method of mineral extraction--it just wouldn't remain in use.

Consider this case:

"Cockroaches had been an insect, but last year, scientists learned more about them." What? Cockroaches had been an insect? Did they stop being an insect and turn into something else? When did this happen? This sentence doesn't make much sense meaning-wise, but it also doesn't meet the criteria for past perfect. We aren't situating one past event in relation to another.

When would "had" be appropriate? Try this:

"By the time the first birds evolved, cockroaches had already been flying for millions of years."
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