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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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New post 27 Feb 2017, 10:09
shalabhg27 wrote:
Hi All,
I have a very basic doubt regarding the antecedent of pronoun "their ". We donot have any clear antecedent subject for their. I mean what we have is "the release of African honeybees", can African honeybees work as antecedent of their ?

I know its a very basic question but please respond.

Thanks in advance.

Dear shalabhg27,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Here's the OA version, (A):
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.

The antecedent of "their" is "African honeybees." It doesn't matter at all that the antecedent was the object of a preposition.

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

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New post 14 May 2017, 16:38
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sandipchowdhury 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


"Less than 35 years" is just a modifier introducing the situation.

The sequence is:

* 35 years ago, some bees were released
* Over the next 35 years, the bees move north
* And now those bees are in Texas

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

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New post 15 May 2017, 01:30
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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




please give KUDOS :)


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

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 03:12
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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.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 04:14
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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New post 21 Aug 2017, 11:42
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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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New post 21 Aug 2017, 12:34
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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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2018, 01:58
GMATNinja egmat VeritasPrepKarishma

Is the opening phrase which includes - the release of - a modifier?
Is release treated as a noun or verb?
What is the earlier event that precedes -had migrated - in OA ?

I have clear verbs - took and were released - in (E) but even then we discarded it.Can you share the PoE?
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2018, 02:12
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adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja egmat VeritasPrepKarishma

Is the opening phrase which includes - the release of - a modifier?
Is release treated as a noun or verb?
What is the earlier event that precedes -had migrated - in OA ?

I have clear verbs - took and were released - in (E) but even then we discarded it.Can you share the PoE?



Note the use of "the" before release. You cannot use an article before a verb. Release is a noun here.

The verb "had migrated" is in past perfect but here is the point - it is not underlined so we don't have to worry about it. Perhaps the sentences before or after it use simple past and here past perfect gives the context - for example, five years later, they were found in Louisiana too.

Mind you, past perfect often has a later event (not earlier as you mentioned) in simple past though it is not necessary. Check here: https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2015/0 ... questions/
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 Aug 2018, 05:46
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The problem with D is the use of the conjunction 'when'. We don't use 'when' to denote a 35-year span. When as a conjunction is used to pinpoint a specific point of time. If we ascribe 'when' to the entire period, then we are in effect saying that the bees had migrated at the beginning of 35 years, had completed the migration yet again in the middle of the course, and then finally had migrated at the end of the specified 35-year stint.
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Originally posted by daagh on 16 Aug 2018, 05:31.
Last edited by daagh on 16 Aug 2018, 05:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2018, 17:58
sandipchowdhury wrote:
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,
(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


My summary after reading through multiple posts and multiple forums:

This question uses the past perfect tense without the use of another action. Past perfect tense refers to an action which happened after the release of the bees and within the next 35 years. By the end of 35 years, it was already done

Choice B: Choice B uses 'releasing African..'. Since the phrase uses 'releasing', the doer of the action should follow the phrase, which as per sentence is 'their descendants' which is non-sensical.

Choice C: This choice uses 'had been released' to reflect the release as the earlier of 2 events, and the usage is correct. But the non-underlined portion contains past perfect to represent a later event, and hence there is an issue in the sequencing.
Also, this choice uses 'the 35 years'. When you use 'the', then you are pretty specific. Without an end time marker, the 35 years' refers to 35 years from the past till as of today, due to which the sentence will then require the present perfect tense.

Choice D: When is used to indicate simultaneous actions. As per this sentence, the descendants' migration took place with the release of the honeybees, which destroys the sequencing of the event. Also, the sentence is incomplete.
The sentence in original form is It took less than 35 years from X, when Y. Now, the question in mind is What took less than 35 years? You still don't know, and the sentence should tell you.

Choice E: Uses 'the 35 years', which is wrong. Uses 'were released' for an earlier action, which is also wrong.

Additional tip: This sentence uses 'less' instead of 'fewer'. This is because year is treated as a continuous quantity here, which is generally true.

Hope it helps! Let me know that using Kudos!!
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2018, 02:08
had done needs a point of time or the similar, an past action. we have to have this point of past time to use "had done". "had done" itself can not go with a point of past time.

"in" dose not show a point of time. "in" shows an amount of time, so, "in" can not go with "had done".

"less than 35 years" shows a point of time and, so, can go with "had done".
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 06:48
Can a pronoun point to a noun in a prepositional phrase?
For option (A), the main subject noun is "the release". I struck off (A) as the correct answer because I thought there is only a possible antecedent, which is "the release", but it does not match up with "their".

Your help would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 07:19
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Yes,it can If you understand the meaning of the sentence, 'their' has only one logical antecedent i.e 'honeybees'. Pronoun ambiguity should be last thing that you should consider to rule out any choice.

Thanks
Please press kudos if my response helped you in any way

bottlebattle wrote:
Can a pronoun point to a noun in a prepositional phrase?
For option (A), the main subject noun is "the release". I struck off (A) as the correct answer because I thought there is only a possible antecedent, which is "the release", but it does not match up with "their".

Your help would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao &nbs [#permalink] 13 Dec 2018, 07:19

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