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Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable

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Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2016, 11:54
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62% (01:03) correct 38% (01:09) wrong based on 450 sessions

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Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

(A) in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was

(B) made the first prototype in 1802, but it was

(C) had created in 1802 the first prototype of the lightbulb, although this would be

(D) had created the 1802 prototype, the first one, which had been

(E) in 1802 had made the first prototype, but this would be


The past perfect tense is one way to indicate that one past event happened before another. When is it necessary? permitted? redundant? For a discussion of these issues, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
Past Perfect on GMAT Sentence Correction

Mike :-)

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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2016, 12:57
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Long before and had representing same time frame; thus had is not required, Between A and B, B is right Answer as in A ", that" is a problem. Please let me know if my reasoning is wrong
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2016, 13:13
[quote="mikemcgarry"]Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

(A) in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was

(B) made the first prototype in 1802, but it was

(C) had created in 1802 the first prototype of the lightbulb, although this would be

(D) had created the 1802 prototype, the first one, which had been

(E) in 1802 had made the first prototype, but this would be


Answer is B

If And/but/although are used in a sentence, than pronouns refers to the first noun or the main subject.
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2016, 15:35
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sudhirmadaan wrote:
Long before and had representing same time frame; thus had is not required, Between A and B, B is right Answer as in A ", that" is a problem. Please let me know if my reasoning is wrong

Dear sudhirmadaan,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, when you quote text, you need to use quote mark to set aside any quoted material. Here is how your wrote your first sentence:
Long before and had representing same time frame; thus had is not required.
This is how it should be written, to convey clarity:
"Long before" and "had" representing same time frame; thus "had" is not required.
When you are asking others for help, it's a simple courtesy to make your request as clear and understandable as possible. I like to use quotes and use a different color for added clarity.

In this question, choice (A) is problematic for two reasons. The first, as you identified, is the word "that: this would not be used following a comma, because it denotes a restrictive modifier. The second is that the phrase "first prototype of the lightbulb" is unnecessarily wordy, because it's clear that we already are discussing the lightbulb. The phrasing of (B) is much more elegant on this point.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2016, 23:19
mikemcgarry wrote:
sudhirmadaan wrote:
Long before and had representing same time frame; thus had is not required, Between A and B, B is right Answer as in A ", that" is a problem. Please let me know if my reasoning is wrong

Dear sudhirmadaan,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, when you quote text, you need to use quote mark to set aside any quoted material. Here is how your wrote your first sentence:
Long before and had representing same time frame; thus had is not required.
This is how it should be written, to convey clarity:
"Long before" and "had" representing same time frame; thus "had" is not required.
When you are asking others for help, it's a simple courtesy to make your request as clear and understandable as possible. I like to use quotes and use a different color for added clarity.

In this question, choice (A) is problematic for two reasons. The first, as you identified, is the word "that: this would not be used following a comma, because it denotes a restrictive modifier. The second is that the phrase "first prototype of the lightbulb" is unnecessarily wordy, because it's clear that we already are discussing the lightbulb. The phrasing of (B) is much more elegant on this point.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


thanks mikemcgarry for explanation.
I will keep things in my mind
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 12:23
mikemcgarry wrote:
Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

(A) in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was

(B) made the first prototype in 1802, but it was

(C) had created in 1802 the first prototype of the lightbulb, although this would be

(D) had created the 1802 prototype, the first one, which had been

(E) in 1802 had made the first prototype, but this would be


The past perfect tense is one way to indicate that one past event happened before another. When is it necessary? permitted? redundant? For a discussion of these issues, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
Past Perfect on GMAT Sentence Correction

Mike :-)


Hi Mike. I have a doubt regarding choice B.
In this choice "it" refers to prototype. Prototype being too bright. In choice A that clearly refers to lightbulb and it makes perfect sense that bulb was too bright and used to burn out quickly. Can you please help me understand how A is wrong.
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2018, 17:35
sandysilva wrote:
Hi Mike. I have a doubt regarding choice B.
In this choice "it" refers to prototype. Prototype being too bright. In choice A that clearly refers to lightbulb and it makes perfect sense that bulb was too bright and used to burn out quickly. Can you please help me understand how A is wrong.


Hi sandysilva,

I can jump in for Mike here! :-)

As he mentioned, A is wrong because the word "that" denotes a restrictive modifier. You can read about the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive modifiers here: That vs. Which on the GMAT. Since "that" is restrictive, it cannot be preceded by a comma. If we put a comma before a restrictive modifier, it essentially cuts off the sentence, and disconnects the modifier. So here,

Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

The "that was too bright and burned out too quickly" is disconnected, by the comma, from "lightbulb", which means that it is not modifying "lightbulb" correctly. If the sentence instead used "which", which is non-restrictive, instead of "that", then that part of the sentence would be correct (there are still other stylistic issues with A, as Mike mentioned before). Again, please refer to that article I linked to for a detailed description of this :-)

Hope that helps!
-Carolyn
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2018, 11:23
MagooshExpert wrote:
sandysilva wrote:
Hi Mike. I have a doubt regarding choice B.
In this choice "it" refers to prototype. Prototype being too bright. In choice A that clearly refers to lightbulb and it makes perfect sense that bulb was too bright and used to burn out quickly. Can you please help me understand how A is wrong.


Hi sandysilva,

I can jump in for Mike here! :-)

As he mentioned, A is wrong because the word "that" denotes a restrictive modifier. You can read about the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive modifiers here: That vs. Which on the GMAT. Since "that" is restrictive, it cannot be preceded by a comma. If we put a comma before a restrictive modifier, it essentially cuts off the sentence, and disconnects the modifier. So here,

Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

The "that was too bright and burned out too quickly" is disconnected, by the comma, from "lightbulb", which means that it is not modifying "lightbulb" correctly. If the sentence instead used "which", which is non-restrictive, instead of "that", then that part of the sentence would be correct (there are still other stylistic issues with A, as Mike mentioned before). Again, please refer to that article I linked to for a detailed description of this :-)

Hope that helps!
-Carolyn



Hi MagooshExpert

I do get the logic on usage of That vs Which. But isn't the use of "it" ambiguous in option B. Because it can refer to the prototype.
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 14:43
rahul16singh28 wrote:
Hi MagooshExpert

I do get the logic on usage of That vs Which. But isn't the use of "it" ambiguous in option B. Because it can refer to the prototype.


Hi rahul16singh28!

"It" here isn't actually ambiguous, because "prototype", "prototype of the lightbulb" and "lightbulb" are all the same object. There aren't multiple objects being talked about. So "it" here is referring to this one object (whether we interpret that as "prototype" or "lightbulb"), which means there is no ambiguity.

Does that make sense? If not, let me know :-)
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Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 04:47
mikemcgarry wrote:
Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

(A) in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was

(B) made the first prototype in 1802, but it was

(C) had created in 1802 the first prototype of the lightbulb, although this would be

(D) had created the 1802 prototype, the first one, which had been

(E) in 1802 had made the first prototype, but this would be


The past perfect tense is one way to indicate that one past event happened before another. When is it necessary? permitted? redundant? For a discussion of these issues, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
Past Perfect on GMAT Sentence Correction

Mike :-)



Hi MagooshExpert,

Why is 'had' answer choice wrong. Can you explain. I ended up selecting 'D' because of 'had'.

Thanks,

ucb2k7
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2018, 14:56
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ucb2k7 wrote:

Hi MagooshExpert,

Why is 'had' answer choice wrong. Can you explain. I ended up selecting 'D' because of 'had'.

Thanks,

ucb2k7


Hi ucb2k7!

Happy to help :-)

Because of "long before" in the sentence, the order of the events is already clear. We only need to use the past perfect ("had") when the order of the events is not completely explicit. So the "had" here is redundant, since we already know that the second action happened before the first.

This extra "had" is not strictly grammatically incorrect, just redundant. But that, combined with the fact that “the 1802 prototype, the first one” is extremely awkward and unclear, means that D is not the best choice.

Does that make sense? If not, let me know! :-)
-Carolyn
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2018, 03:45
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mikemcgarry wrote:
Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable incandescent lightbulb, the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was too bright and burned out too quickly.

(A) in 1802 created the first prototype of the lightbulb, that was

(B) made the first prototype in 1802, but it was

(C) had created in 1802 the first prototype of the lightbulb, although this would be

(D) had created the 1802 prototype, the first one, which had been

(E) in 1802 had made the first prototype, but this would be


The past perfect tense is one way to indicate that one past event happened before another. When is it necessary? permitted? redundant? For a discussion of these issues, as well as the OE for this particular question, see:
Past Perfect on GMAT Sentence Correction

Mike :-)


just want to make sure that we aren't using past perfect (had verb-ed) because time sequencing is already given and in that case we can use simple past for both events?

My answer is B.
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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2018, 16:30
thefibonacci wrote:
just want to make sure that we aren't using past perfect (had verb-ed) because time sequencing is already given and in that case we can use simple past for both events?

My answer is B.

Yes, that's correct! :-)

The time sequence is already clear, so we can just use the simple past for both events. The correct answer is B :-)

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Re: Long before Thomas Edison made a long-lasting and commercially viable   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2018, 16:30
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