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Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees

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

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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 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then

[Reveal] Spoiler:
cannot understand the verb tense agreement: 'release' and the verb 'had been'. Can someone explain after choosing the correct answer. Thanks
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by mikemcgarry on 09 Feb 2017, 12:18, edited 2 times in total.
corrected misspellings and errors in the text
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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Really good question !
Demonstrates how a past perfect tense can be used in a sentence without the use of simple past preceeding it ... I hate exceptions !
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/gma ... t1864.html

^Description of answer. Tough question:>>
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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study wrote:
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendents, popular 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 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then

cannot understand the verb tense agreement: 'release' and the verb 'had been'. Can someone explain after choosing the correct answer. Thanks


First, please make sure that you post the original sentence correctly! The non-underlined part doesn't make sense as written. The sentence should read:

Quote:
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.


There's nothing glaringly wrong with the original, so we should either confidently pick it or scan the choices looking for differences.

If we choose to scan, we see that one difference is the opening phrase.

Let's combine the opening phrase with the final one, ignoring the parenthetical comments:

A) Less than 35 years after the release of X, their descendants had migrated as far as Y.

Sounds good!

B) In less than 35 years since releasing X, their descendants had migrated as far north as Southern Texas.

"Their descendants" doesn't modify those who did the releasing, so "since releasing" is wrong - eliminate.

C) In less than the 35 years since X had been released, their descendants had migrated as far north as Southern Texas.

"In less than the 35 years" is idiomatically incorrect. The proper idiom would be "In the less than 35 years" - and would change the meaning of the sentence - eliminate.

D) It took less than 35 years from the release of X, when their descendants had migrated as far north as Southern Texas.

"when" must refer to a time period; "it took less than 35 years" isn't a time period - eliminate. (The author could have said "It took less than 35 years from the release of X for their descendants to migrate as far as Southern Texas.)

E) It took less than 35 years after the time that X were released and then their descendants had migrated as far north as Southern Texas.

So many errors, so little time! The whole thing sounds horrible (always a good reason to eliminate a choice), the tenses don't make any sense and "it took less" certainly doesn't go with "and then" - eliminate.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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you mean c is right due to correct tense?
jainu wrote:
study wrote:
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendents, popular 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, "In less than 35 years" should be used instead of "Less than 35 years" .

B. In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, "Since releasing" is wrong because the action in first clause should happen before the action in second clause.Hence tense should be past perfect "had'.

C. In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,option D s is right as tense( "had" ) and "since" is rightly used.

D. It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when"from the release" is wrong. we use words like since,after,when to indicate time durations or a period of time.

E. It took less than 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and thenawkward no need to use words like "time"

cannot understand the verb tense agreement: 'release' and the verb 'had been'. Can someone explain after choosing the correct answer. Thanks

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

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Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendents, popular 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,
Less ~ is adverbial phrase modifying the next whole sentence, Correct.

B. In less than 35 years since releasing African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,
Releasing has no subject.

C. In less than the 35 years since African honeybees had been released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil,
sounds like the African honeybees has been released at the same time as the killer bees had migrated.
Making no sense.

D. It took less than 35 years from the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, when
'When' makes the sentence sound like at the time which the honey bees were migrated, the release happened. no sense.

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

'and then' sounds like there's a time sequence. The release -> migration. No sense.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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

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nahid78 wrote:
Hello mikemcgarry,
How are you?
I am stuck. can you please help me out?
I could eliminate D and E.
I also eliminated B, as I thought "the release of" is better than "releasing"
Did not understand the difference between "since" and "after"
I picked C, as I thought "in" was needed, and As honeybee "was released" first then The "migrated".
I think the pronoun "their" plays a role here, So i also hope that you might say something about pronoun too...

Thanks a ton in advance.
Respect...

Dear nahid78,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The big idea here is that if a time interval is unmodified, then we typically use "in" or "for." Notice, that the modifiers such as "more than" or "less than" don't change the basic pattern.
In three days, I will do X
In less than two years, I will do X.
For more than six years, I did X.

BUT, and this is very important, when the the time interval is modified, by a preposition or a clause, we do NOT need a preposition.
Three days after the wedding, I did X. = preposition modifier
More than six years before the French Revolution, he did X. = preposition modifier
Less than five minutes after you called, I did X. = clause modifier
Two days before you returned to town, I did X. = clause modifier

In this sentence, the time interval "three years" is modified by a clause beginning with a subordinate conjunction ("after" in (A) and "since" in (C)). Because it's modified in this way, it does not need a preposition.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mo2men wrote:
Dear Mike,

I'm little bit confused about 'less than' in this question.

Why do not we use ' fewer than 3 years'? Is not 'years' countable word?

Thanks

Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The general rule, as you well know, is "fewer" for countable nouns and "less" for uncountable nouns.

A curious idiomatic exception to this pattern concerns units. Some units are so frequently used that they are, as it were, proxies for what they measure. Of course, the unit themselves are countable, but what they measure is typically uncountable. Thus
"less than $10" really means "less money than $10"
"less than seven hours" really means "less time than seven hours"
"less than five miles" really means "less distance than five miles"
"less than 25 lbs" really means "less weight than 25 lbs"

You see, when we are talking about a time of about 3 years, we are not really talking about three separate countable things: we are just talking about a continuous bulk of time. We would only talk about years as countable, say, if were were talking about something that very specifically happened just once a year, such as a big annual award. For example,
For the eight years inclusive from 1938 to 1945, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in fewer than half of those years.
In this context, the each year is a separate and countable thing. This is not how we are talking about time when we just want to know, how long did X last?

That last paragraph deals with subtleties far beyond what the GMAT is likely to test.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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nahid78 wrote:
Yes I understand now.
Thank you very much.
But can you please share something about the use of "past participle" in option "C". Is C wrong because of the preposition "In" or "had been released" is also wrong?
Thanks again...

Dear nahid78,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the grammar in (C)--it's 100% grammatically correct. It's just a bit wordy, a longer and less powerful way of saying the same thing that (A) says, but (A) is sleek, efficient, and direct.

Grammar is only one of the considerations on the GMAT SC. The GMAT loves to construct grammatically correct options that are wrong because of logical or rhetorical problems.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mo2men wrote:
Dear Mike,

I got confused by your reply above about choice C. You just have eliminated C in earlier post because 'when the the time interval is modified, by a preposition or a clause, we do NOT need a preposition.'

Also, is the following construction grammatically correct?

since+past perfect, main clause with past perfect.

As I learned before, 'since' is used to give it must refer to a DEFINITE MOMENT in the past such as: since June, since 1990

Can you clarify please?

Dear Mo2men,

I'm happy to respond.

We are going deep down the rabbit hole of idioms here--technicalities far beyond what the GMAT expects you to know. We can use "years" without a preposition
Less than 35 years since . . . = concise & elegant
It's a little awkward to have just the preposition
In less than 35 years since . . . = not 100% wrong, but a little off
BUT, if we add the definite article, then we get a construction that sounds very sophisticated:
In less than the 35 years since . . . = correct & sophisticated, but more wordy
The definite article reifies that block of time, turns it into a definitive single lump of something. This is a very elegant way of speaking, very sophisticated, although admittedly, it's a bit wordy. It's a little more typical of highly adorned academic writing then of business writing, which tends to be more terse and to-the-point.
Again, all this is leagues beyond what you need to know for the GMAT.

The upshot is that (C) is perfect, elegant, and 100% grammatically correct--this certainly could be correct on the GRE, for example. Again, it is a fancy academic way of conveying the information. Conceivably it might be a correct GMAT SC answer on its own. It's only problem is that it is wordy, baggy, and indirect, so it looks sick by comparison with (A). Whereas (C) is fancy and highfalutin, (A) is direct, terse, and clear--much more in line with the GMAT's standards. There is no doubt that (A) is the best answer of the five.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2009, 10:40
I am sorry in my early post I meant C is right. That was a typo. Thanks.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2009, 04:44
study wrote:
Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendents, popular 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 35 years after the time that African honeybees were released outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, and then

cannot understand the verb tense agreement: 'release' and the verb 'had been'. Can someone explain after choosing the correct answer. Thanks


I don't understand why 'A' is wrong.

"IN" definitely is not required. For ex:- "Less than 2 hrs after escaping, 2 inmates are back in jail". Furthermore, we don't need had been because the action is not continuous.

I think answer is 'A'

What is OA?

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

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OA is A
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2009, 16:01
Any other explanations for the other sentences?
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2010, 04:18
Can some expert explain why A and not C?
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2010, 15:16
IMHO (C)...
(A) doesnt look right. - Missing "In.."
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2010, 19:49
I selected C for the usage of tense. My confusion is with the adjective "popular" following " their descendants" it agrees with the antecedent but would "popularly" known also fit the tense? I am working on s.c. now to improve my command of English grammatical structure.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2010, 15:17
could anybody elaborate a bit more on this one?
thanks
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees [#permalink]

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wait wait wait, how has nobody commented on the phrase "popular known as" in the original sentence. i am assuming OP made a typo and this was to be "popularly known as"

i would say best answer is also A. C is just very wordy to me, both a and c are saying the same thing in essence.

just my own opinion
Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees   [#permalink] 23 Aug 2010, 16:39

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