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Past Perfect is not the earliest action in the entire sentence

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 02:35
Hi guys,

so finally i've came across a sentence in the Manhattan Prep which i just cant figure out:

The band U2 WAS just one of many groups on the rock music scene in the early 1980s, but less than ten years later, U2 HAD fully ECLIPSED its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music.

The description quotes that the sentence is valid because the past perfect is the earlier of the two actions???

Because i understand it as if the band was just one of many, and then AFTER 10 years eclipsed. Shouldnt the tenses be swapped then?

Thanks for any help :)
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New post 22 Mar 2019, 03:24
StressTest wrote:
Hi guys,

so finally i've came across a sentence in the Manhattan Prep which i just cant figure out:

The band U2 WAS just one of many groups on the rock music scene in the early 1980s, but less than ten years later, U2 HAD fully ECLIPSED its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music.

The description quotes that the sentence is valid because the past perfect is the earlier of the two actions???

Because i understand it as if the band was just one of many, and then AFTER 10 years eclipsed. Shouldnt the tenses be swapped then?

Thanks for any help :)


In my opinion:
The sequence is like this:
U2 emerged as new band -------> U2 eclipsed ----------> 10years passed
so past perfect was used to emphasize that U2 eclipse action is before (not after) the 10 years pass action

This is a thread which I found discussing this question, I wish it could give you some insight:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/forums/the-band-u2-was-just-one-of-the-many-t8017.html
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Past Perfect is not the earliest action in the entire sentence  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2019, 21:28
In this sentence, we have three past events.
Event 1: Band U2 was one of the groups in the early 1980s. This sentence talks about an event in the 1980s and hence the use of simple past is correct.
Event 2: Band U2 fully eclipsed its early rivals. This sentence talks about a past event that took place before event 3: time reference, less than 10 years later
Event 3: The phrase less than ten years later is a time reference and thereby denotes an event, which happens after band U2 eclipsed its rivals.

Remember that past perfect tense must be used to clarify the sequence of events. In this case, event 1 is clearly a past event and hence simple past tense is used. Since we need to clarify the sequence of event 2 and event 3, the author used the past perfect tense to clearly denote the sequence of events.
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New post 23 Mar 2019, 08:45
Hi StressTest,


The text in the book says:
...you can even make a tricky sentence in which the first clause expresses an early action in simple past. Then, a second clause expresses a later action in past perfect to indicate continued effect .


the second clause started in the past, continued in the past, and 'finished' in the past.

The band U2 was just one of the many new groups on the rock musis scene in the early 80s [ignore this part, it's independent clause], but less than ten years later [later event], U2 had fully eclipsed its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music." [continued in the past]

Also check this thread:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/here-s-the-o ... 47903.html
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Past Perfect is not the earliest action in the entire sentence   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2019, 08:45
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Past Perfect is not the earliest action in the entire sentence

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