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# San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared

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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2011, 13:07
Just came across this question on one of the Kaplan CAT exams. I too think that this question and the official answer are wrong.

First, "municipal" is an adjective, the noun form is "municipality" or "municipal body".

Second, I think citing the use of the past perfect in periodicals too justify a GMAT question is incorrect because we all know that getting a GMAT SC question right often calls for an understanding of what the GMAT considers to be "right". In my opinion, the GMAT considers the use of the past perfect wordy/unnecessary unless it is absolutely necessary to show the sequence of two past events. The best explanation of the use of the past perfect (other than the OG itself) is given in MGMAT's SC book, which clearly explains that in circumstances where the sequence of two events is obvious the past perfect is unnecessary.

Third, I've never come across a single official GMAT SC question that required you to infer that 'X' is to be read as 'Y' (I'm referring to the part where "within twenty years" is to be understood as "before twenty years had passed")

Finally, the way I read it, there are two clauses, each with a subject and verb, joined by a conjunction 'yet' - "San Franciscans mocked" & "powerful municipal made". I think if the past perfect had to be used it would be more appropriate to use it in the first (non-underlined) part: "San Franciscans of the 1890s HAD mocked the claim.....powerful municipal made this boast a...." because these are the two events that are being discussed here. In the phrase 'within twenty years' the word 'within' clearly indicates that the event happened before twenty years expired so the sequence is obvious and there is no scope for misinterpretation. Therefore, the past perfect need not be used.

Again, this is just my opinion on the question. I'm no GMAT Whiz
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2011, 15:24
I always thought that within last 20 years means the last 20 years till today.

And what I have read in the discussion is that within last 20 years means before twenty years passed.

Weird ?
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2013, 07:35
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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28 Oct 2013, 07:39
I chose answer B, for me it is the most logical...

Can someone give a CLEAR explaination for A, because it is totally not clear right now...

B seems obvious to me : yet within twenty years a powerful municipal made this boast a reality Tense is ok, it is clear and not akward...

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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2014, 09:51
KapTeacherEli wrote:
My understanding of this unusual grammatical construction is that we can read 'within twenty years' as 'before twenty years passed'. Thus, focusing only on the second clause after the comma, the earliest event is the boast becoming reality. Since the boast becomes reality before that time finishes passing, the perfect tense is appropriate (though not mandatory).

Hope this helps!

Hey Eli, do you suppose GmatSC would expect us to pick a winner between A and B? There isn't anything that is particularly wrong with A and in fact one could argue that the past perfect is a bit of an extra on B.
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2015, 12:28
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2016, 07:12
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2016, 18:31
hemanthp wrote:
San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared Los Angeles a world city, yet within twenty years a powerful municipal had made this boast a reality .

yet within twenty years a powerful municipal had made this boast a reality
yet within twenty years a powerful municipal made this boast a reality
yet a powerful municipal within twenty years will make this boast a reality
yet this boast had become a reality within twenty years because of a powerful will municipally
yet within twenty years a municipal will had made this boast a powerful reality
+1 Kudos if you like the question and if you want the OE . this is from Kaplan and the OA is indeed correct!

1. Is my understanding right?

Is that so, why mocked is not "had mocked" ?

2. Whenever we see Within 20 years/ year 0f 1920/ 5 days (some specific time), should we think of a sequence here? Is within carries the same(almost same) meaning as "BY"? ( By 1920 ... sub + past perfect.)
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Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2016, 09:23
nahid78 wrote:
hemanthp wrote:
San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared Los Angeles a world city, yet within twenty years a powerful municipal had made this boast a reality .

yet within twenty years a powerful municipal had made this boast a reality
yet within twenty years a powerful municipal made this boast a reality
yet a powerful municipal within twenty years will make this boast a reality
yet this boast had become a reality within twenty years because of a powerful will municipally
yet within twenty years a municipal will had made this boast a powerful reality
+1 Kudos if you like the question and if you want the OE . this is from Kaplan and the OA is indeed correct!

1. Is my understanding right?

Is that so, why mocked is not "had mocked" ?

2. Whenever we see Within 20 years/ year 0f 1920/ 5 days (some specific time), should we think of a sequence here? Is within carries the same(almost same) meaning as "BY"? ( By 1920 ... sub + past perfect.)

This is one tricky concept in tense chapter - take a look at the comments in this thread:
v12-227178.html#p1747770
Re: San Franciscans of the 1890s mocked the claim that declared   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2016, 09:23

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