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# Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao

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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 05:14
onkargm wrote:
Can somebody please explain why "had migrated" is used here and , what is the sequence of events. According to MGMAT "had" is used only when you want to denote an action or event occurred prior to some past event.

Hi onkargm ,

I think you misread something here.

There are two uses of 'had'.

1. Used to denote an earlier action out of two actions in the past.
2. Simple past usage.

Here, in this question, the sentence is talking about the past event and its the simple past usage and not the one you are thinking.

It is saying: Their descendants had migrated as far north as southern Texas. --> Simple Past usage.

Does that make sense?
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 21:03
smanujahrc wrote:
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendants, popularly known as killer bees, had migrated as far north as southern Texas.

A) Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

B) In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

C) In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

D) It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when

E) It took less than the 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then

I chose B but after careful reading the sentence "Since in B is wrong "
What " In less" in B is it wrong too?
Experts any thought on this ?
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2017, 23:57
himanshumalhotra1990 wrote:
smanujahrc wrote:
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendants, popularly known as killer bees, had migrated as far north as southern Texas.

A) Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

B) In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

C) In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,

D) It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when

E) It took less than the 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then

In the correct choice, Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,, I believe the clause should start with in as in option B. Without the in, the opening modifier doesn't seem to appropriately modify their descendents

I also feel the same that option A should start with an.
I am not sure I may be missing something.

Experts kindly help.

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Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2017, 23:16
Could mikemcgarry , GMATNinja or any other expert please let me know why option B is incorrect?
Does it revolve around the incorrect usage of the word since?

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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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04 Aug 2017, 06:12
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendants, popularly known as killer bees, had migrated as far north as southern Texas.

A) Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, - Correct

B) In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, - Illogical - honeybees' descendants somehow released them

C) In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, - Tense issue - 'the 35 years since' implies that the present is 35 years after the release date. not only does this conflict with the meaning of the original, but it also renders the past perfect (from the underlined part) inappropriate

D) It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when - the commas + non-essential modifier ('..., when') seem to imply that the descendants' migration took place simultaneously with the release of the original honeybees.

E) It took less than the 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then - Awkward and redundant

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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2017, 12:42
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What did you think of the original sentence?

My first reaction was: wait, what? Why does it say “had migrated?” That sounded not-quite-right to me. Of course, that portion of the sentence isn’t underlined, so it has to be right!

So I realized I have one of two things, here: either I need to fix some problem in the underlined portion or this is a hard problem and they just tricked me into thinking it “sounded funny” when there’s nothing wrong with it.

In general, when you think something sounds funny, go figure out what specific rule is being broken, or whether the meaning is illogical or ambiguous. If you can’t find anything, then maybe your ear just fooled you.

So, let’s examine this. Why was I surprised by the usage of “had migrated” in the non-underlined portion? What is that – what part of speech? How is it supposed to be used?

“Had migrated” is a verb tense construction. Specifically, it’s an example of the past perfect tense, which is a complex past tense construction. We use past perfect in one specific situation: when we have two (or more) actions taking place at different times in the past, and we want to indicate which one happened before the other.

We use past perfect to indicate the older, longer-ago action and either present perfect or a time marker to indicate the not-as-old action or timeframe. For example:

Before the age of 30, she had changed careers three times.

When she decided to go to graduate school, she had already changed careers three times.

In both sentences, the action that occurred first was the act of changing careers. First she changed careers three times, then she turned 30. First she changed careers three times, then she decided to go to graduate school. All of these actions are in the past, but some happened earlier than others in the past.

In the first sentence, we have a time marker to indicate the later timeframe or action: “before the age of 30.” In the second sentence, the later action is indicated by the simple past tense: “she decided.” Both of these constructions are acceptable to indicate the later of the two events or timeframes.

In both sentences, we see the same past perfect construction: “she had changed.” To construct the past perfect, we always begin with the word “had” and then we add the past participle of the verb we want to use. Regular past participles end with the letters “ed”: had changed, had worked, had played. There are also irregular past participles: had eaten, had gone, had seen.

Let’s go back to our original problem. The non-underlined portion contains “had migrated,” so the underlined portion must contain either a time marker or an action presented in the simple past tense. And here’s where our ear can be fooled.

Many people will naturally think of the action as the release of the honeybees. First, they were released; later, they migrated. That’s certainly true, and if the sentence had used the verb form of the word “release,” then answer A would be wrong. But the word “release” is in noun form in the sentence. We don’t have any verbs in the simple past tense at all. Instead, we have a time marker.

What is the time marker? “Less than 35 years after.” Did the migration of the honeybees occur before or after “less than 35 years after?”

Before! First, the bees were released. Then, they migrated north. Finally, it was “35 years after” the release, by which time the bees had already migrated. This is a similar construction to our “before the age of 30” time marker above. Let’s try another example.

Less than 10 years after her graduation from college, she had changed careers three times.

It still sounds a little funny doesn’t it? It’s the “less than” that’s key: the action that occurs after the comma (“she had changed”) occurs less than 10 years after her graduation. The changes occurred before that 10 years passed.

Okay. So the tense “problem” in the original sentence is not a problem at all. I don’t immediately see anything else wrong with the original, and I also have an idea of how they’re going to change some of the other answers (they’re going to want to try to set the trap for those of us who think the tense is wrong), so I decide at this point to go look at the other answers. I’m thinking specifically about how they might mess up the meaning of the sentence using verb tenses – since they almost got me to think that the meaning of the original sentence was wrong by using what seemed at first like the wrong tense.

Answer B doesn’t contain a regular tensed verb. Answer C does, though! It says the bees “had been released.” So, let’s see, the release happens first. That does make sense, because you have to release them before they can migrate. Then the migration happens after that, so we need to go change that tense to simple present… oh, wait, we can’t. It’s not underlined.

If I leave both “had been released” and “had migrated” in the past perfect tense, then the sentence is saying that these things both happened at the same time. That doesn’t make sense (illogical meaning!), so answer C is incorrect.

Bonus Question: what’s the difference between saying “had been released” and “had released?” (Answer at end.)

Answer D doesn’t contain a tensed verb, but answer E does. This answer says the bees “were released,” which is simple past. This would mean that the bees first migrated and then were released – again, messed-up meaning! Eliminate E.

We’ve narrowed the answers to A, B, and D. I noticed something about B when I was looking for tensed verbs. It says “since releasing honeybees…”

Less than 10 minutes after releasing a helium-filled balloon, the child could no longer see it in the sky.

The word “releasing” is indicating an action performed by someone or something. Someone or something is releasing (or was releasing) the balloon. That someone or something has to be placed after the comma (this is a standard noun-modifier construction). If I want to talk about the balloon after the comma, then I need to change the structure:

Less than 10 minutes after being released, the helium-filled balloon had floated out of sight.

The child is releasing the balloon, but the balloon is being released.

Okay, so that eliminates answer B, because it can’t be the case that the descendants of the African honeybees were the ones releasing their ancestors! We’re down to A and D.

Let’s look at D more closely. What’s the difference between answer D and these sentences:

It took less than 35 years for the lazy student to finish business school.

It took less than 35 years to mow the lawn.

“It took less than 35 years” is the same in all of the sentences, of course. What about the rest of the sentences?

The construction “it took less than <some amount of time>” needs to be followed by “for <something to occur>” or “to <do something>” at some point in the sentence. These are idioms. Logically, the “something to occur” in our problem is the migration of the bees. Answer D, though, uses “when” to introduce the part about the migration. Try that out in the simpler sentence construction:

It took less than 35 years, when the lazy student had finished business school.

I’m still waiting for them to tell me what took less than 35 years! It took less than 35 years, when the lazy student had finished business school, to find a job?

Whatever it is, the structure of D is incomplete because I don’t know what took less than 35 years to do or occur. The correct answer is A.

Answer to Bonus Question: “Had released” represents active voice and “had been released” represents passive voice. I had already released my little brother 10 minutes before my mom came home and yelled at me for teasing him. My little brother had already been released by me before…

We use active voice when the subject is performing the action: I ate the pizza. We use passive voice when the subject is having the action performed on it: The pizza was eaten by me.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2017, 13:34
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendents, popularly known as killer bees, had migrated as far north as Southern Texas.

(A) Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, -Correct.
(B) In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, -"releasing" is wrongly used here
(C) In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, -"perfect tense" is not required
(D) It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when -Not a complete sentence.
(E) It took less than 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then -Incorrect joining of the clauses.
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Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2017, 16:30
Hi AbdurRakib abhimahna

How are you guys doing?
I know you guys keep amazing records/databases of OG questions. I was just wondering if you have you come across any OG question that has two Past Participials in the correct answer to show sequence of tenses?

C here is grammatically correct, however, as Mike pointed out that A is preferred for various reasons; and I do understand why A is the correct answer.

I am just trying to find a pattern - if TWO PAST PARTICIPIALs, even if grammatically correct, is ever correct in OG questions published.

Regards

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Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao   [#permalink] 10 Dec 2017, 16:30

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# Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao

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