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# Past Perfect Tense questions

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Manager
Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 124

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Schools: Columbia Business School, Goizueta, Sloan

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15 Feb 2012, 04:11
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Hello,

I am a little bit stuck with the Past Perfect because I just realized that it is a little more complex than I originally thought. Here is one example from MGMAT Guide:

By 1945, The United States HAD BEEN at war for several years.

Using this construction, 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 (by a still later past time).

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

Can someone please explain me exactly why is the first sentence considered to be younger than the second one, and what is the logic behind it. Thanks
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Re: Past Perfect Tense questions [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2012, 05:15
Laker7 wrote:
By 1945, The United States HAD BEEN at war for several years.
Laker7 wrote:
Can someone please explain me exactly why is the first sentence considered to be younger than the second one, and what is the logic behind it. Thanks

the sequence is required to be shown here for the two things ( both of which are in past)
by 1945....is conveying the meaning that "By the time it was year 1945", thus the sentence is conveying that by the time it was 1945, the US had fought many wars ( or by the time it was 1945, the US had been at war for several years..
thus the sequence is required wherein the event taken place in past( The state of US been at war) demands past perfect.
now if we write sentence this way
By 1945, The US was at war for several years.
now this sentence doesn't explicitly expresses the logical meaning that is conveyed by the original sentence
apply the same on the second sentence.
Regards.
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A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : http://gmatclub.com/forum/a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies http://gmatclub.com/forum/three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

Kudos [?]: 588 [0], given: 264

Manager
Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 124

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 28

Schools: Columbia Business School, Goizueta, Sloan
Re: Past Perfect Tense questions [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2012, 05:22
Thanks. But that first sentence is just an intro to what proceeds. Sorry for not clarifying that.

I understood the first sentence but not the one with U2. It is very confusing to me because the second sentence states "10 years later" and then comes past perfect even though their action came after 1980s.

A verb should be in past perfect if that the verb occurred before another action. But here it is not the case yet past perfect was used. Why is that so? It has to do something with continued effect but I do not get it.
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Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 28

Director
Status: Enjoying the GMAT journey....
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Kudos [?]: 588 [1], given: 264

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Re: Past Perfect Tense questions [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2012, 06:31
1
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Laker7 wrote:
I understood the first sentence but not the one with U2. It is very confusing to me because the second sentence states "10 years later" and then comes past perfect even though their action came after 1980s.

A verb should be in past perfect if that the verb occurred before another action. But here it is not the case yet past perfect was used. Why is that so? It has to do something with continued effect but I do not get it.

though i can explain but certainly not as good as an instructor does. Here is what Emily mgmat has to say

Generally, when you have two verbs in a sentence, one simple past and one past perfect, the timeline from earliest to latest event is (1) past perfect, (2) simple past, (3) now.

When we arrived at the theater, the movie had started.
Timeline: (1) movie began, (2) we arrived, (3) now.

In this exception:

The band U2 was just one of the many new groups on the rock musis scene in the early 80s, but less than ten years later, U2 had fully eclipsed its early rivals in the pantheon of popular music."
Timeline: U2 a new group (early 80's), U2 eclipses rivals (sometime in 80's), U2 top of pantheon of music (early 90's).

It's truly a tricky sentence, as the past perfect action happens before a certain implied event, which is simply the conclusion of that action. The main thing to note is that you could never make this exceptional use of the tense without very careful use of the time-indicating phrases in italics above.
hope the expl helps
u can also check out the link.
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/the ... t8017.html
_________________

Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : http://gmatclub.com/forum/a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies http://gmatclub.com/forum/three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

Kudos [?]: 588 [1], given: 264

Manager
Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 124

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 28

Schools: Columbia Business School, Goizueta, Sloan
Re: Past Perfect Tense questions [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2012, 09:07
Thanks for the effort, but unfortunately I still do not understand despite going to the link you posted.
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Re: Past Perfect Tense questions   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2012, 09:07
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