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Phlogiston

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Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2009, 06:24
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A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

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Question Stats:

60% (01:11) correct 40% (01:14) wrong based on 338 sessions

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Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood.a) many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
b) many scientists believed that phlogiston was an imaginary substance released by combustion and its properties were not fully understood
c) phlogiston was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood and which many scientists had believed was released by combustion
d) phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood, was believed by scientists to be released by combustion
e) many scientists had believed that phlogiston was released by combustion and was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood

Will post OA after some discussion.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by ankurgupta03 on 10 Apr 2014, 13:16, edited 1 time in total.
added the OA

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2009, 07:57
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yangsta8 wrote:
Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood.a) many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
b) many scientists believed that phlogiston was an imaginary substance released by combustion and its properties were not fully understood
c) phlogiston was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood and which many scientists had believed was released by combustion
d) phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood, was believed by scientists to be released by combustion
e) many scientists had believed that phlogiston was released by combustion and was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
Will post OA after some discussion.


we are talking about two actions that happened int he past.
we need past perfect..
B, D --> out ( used simple past)
C -> akward.

Between A and E
A looks good.

S had believed that combustion released phlogiston, Imaginary substance..(Appositive which modifies Ph)

E --> S had believed that Ph was released by combustion and ph was imaginary substance.

This is wrong. these two statements are contradicting each other. If they belive " Ph" relased... that means that they exists right.. they are not "imaginary substances any more".. so E is out.
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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2009, 00:41
OA is A.

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2009, 03:04
I was between A and E.
But wasn't able to choose the right. Suresh gave a nice explanation.
I wonder is something wrong with E except for context contradiction? Cause for me (as non-native) it was dificult to catch this contradiction.

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2009, 09:32
A is best. Since the faulty belief about phlogiston was before Lavoisier's refutation, we need "had believed" to counter the later verb "proved." The phrase "an imaginary substance . . ." properly modifies phlogiston.
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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2009, 11:20
The sentence requires past perfect tense because the act of “believing” happened before the act of “proving”. So Choice B and D are out

It cannot happen that “phlogiston is released” and can be “an imaginary substance”. So Choice E is out

As for choice C, the events are reversed. It should be first “Scientist believing” followed by “properties not understood”, moreover the choice is passively constructed. So Choice C is out.

Hence the answer should be A

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2009, 20:47
Between A and E. I go with A, it's correct and concise.
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Re: Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2014, 11:58
Answer is A,

if you scan unlike is used at very beginning means parallel unlike Antoine Lavoisier, so word after comma will be scientist not phlogiston so c,d out.

E-->passive form
between A and , two action here proved and beleived so prefer had
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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2016, 11:10
Let us take up A and E.
In E it goes like this -- Scientists believed that ph did this and ph was an imaginary substance whose properties...
This is saying that Scientists had two beliefs. This really is not the meaning of sentence. Scientists believed that combustion released ph.. that is it.

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2017, 08:23
Expert - As this sentence uses "until" in opening clause, Do we really need past perfect tense to specify the action sequence??

Until AV proved otherwise, many scientists believed xyz.
Until AV proved otherwise, many scientists had believed xyz.

are these two same??

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2017, 06:34
RMD007 wrote:
Expert - As this sentence uses "until" in opening clause, Do we really need past perfect tense to specify the action sequence??

Until AV proved otherwise, many scientists believed xyz.
Until AV proved otherwise, many scientists had believed xyz.

are these two same??


I do not see any difference in meaning - simple past seems to be the better choice because of the reason you mentioned.

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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2017, 10:42
Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood

.a) many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
straight forward A. correct.


b) many scientists believed that phlogiston was an imaginary substance released by combustion and its properties were not fully understood
passive.
c) phlogiston was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood and which many scientists had believed was released by combustion
too much wordy.

d) phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood, was believed by scientists to be released by combustion
passive

e) many scientists had believed that phlogiston was released by combustion and was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
passive. not precise.
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Re: Phlogiston [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 08:13
OE :

The past perfect "had believed" is correct because it is the earlier of two past actions (the later
action is "proved," which is in the simple past tense). The main clause is correctly written in active
voice. The clause "an imaginary substance whose..." correctly modifies "phlogiston."

(A) CORRECT. This choice is correct as it repeats the original sentence.

(B) The simple past "believed" is incorrect because it is the earlier of two past actions and
should be in the past perfect tense instead: "had believed." Moreover, "was an imaginary
substance released by combustion" is unnecessarily in passive voice.
Finally, the construction "and its properties were not fully understood" is incorrectly
parallel with "phlogiston was released by combustion" rather than subordinate to it, as
in the original sentence; this also creates ambiguity around the pronoun "its" which
could refer to either combustion or phlogiston.
Here parallelism is not needed.

(C) The placement of "phlogiston" immediately after the opening clause incorrectly implies that
phlogiston had been imaginary until Lavoisier proved otherwise. Moreover, the sentence is
unnecessarily in the passive voice.

(D) This sentence is unnecessarily in the passive voice. Moreover, "was believed" is incorrectly
in the simple past tense. It should instead be in the past perfect tense ("had been believed"),
because it is the earlier of two past actions.

(E) This sentence correctly uses the past perfect "had believed" but its construction incorrectly
implies that scientists had believed that phlogiston was imaginary.
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Re: Phlogiston   [#permalink] 18 Sep 2017, 08:13
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