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# Scientists believe that the great white shark

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Manager
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Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2014, 12:11
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15% (low)

Question Stats:

61% (01:34) correct 39% (00:48) wrong based on 124 sessions

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Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved from the megalodon, a prehistoric shark measuring over 50 feet in length.

(A) believe that the great white shark has evolved
(B) believe that the great white shark evolved
(C) believed that the great white shark has evolved
(D) are believing that the great white shark has evolved
(E) have believed that the great white shark has evolved
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2014, 12:47
kingb wrote:
Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved from the megalodon, a prehistoric shark measuring over 50 feet in length.

(A) believe that the great white shark has evolved
(B) believe that the great white shark evolved
(C) believed that the great white shark has evolved
(D) are believing that the great white shark has evolved
(E) have believed that the great white shark has evolved

Dear kingb
I'm happy to respond. This topic was already posted here:
forum/scientists-believe-that-the-great-white-shark-has-evolved-110031.html
It's good to do a search for a question before starting a brand new thread on it.

I must say, I am not terribly impressed with the quality of this SC question. The first verb, from the prompt, seems to be in the present tense, "believe" --- it's not that the other tenses are incorrect, necessarily --- we just can't changed to them without changing the meaning. Thus, we need "believe", and only (A) or (B) will suffice.

The "evolving" happened in the past. It is totally done. At this point, we simply have a great white shark as a finished product, so the "evolving" is all over. For that verb, we need the simple past tense, "evolved."

Thus, OA = (B).

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2014, 13:30
mikemcgarry wrote:
kingb wrote:
Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved from the megalodon, a prehistoric shark measuring over 50 feet in length.

(A) believe that the great white shark has evolved
(B) believe that the great white shark evolved
(C) believed that the great white shark has evolved
(D) are believing that the great white shark has evolved
(E) have believed that the great white shark has evolved

Dear kingb
I'm happy to respond. This topic was already posted here:
forum/scientists-believe-that-the-great-white-shark-has-evolved-110031.html
It's good to do a search for a question before starting a brand new thread on it.

I must say, I am not terribly impressed with the quality of this SC question. The first verb, from the prompt, seems to be in the present tense, "believe" --- it's not that the other tenses are incorrect, necessarily --- we just can't changed to them without changing the meaning. Thus, we need "believe", and only (A) or (B) will suffice.

The "evolving" happened in the past. It is totally done. At this point, we simply have a great white shark as a finished product, so the "evolving" is all over. For that verb, we need the simple past tense, "evolved."

Thus, OA = (B).

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Mike,

I went with option A because I thought 'evolved' in option B is a participle and not a verb. Hence, I thought the sentence in option B doesn't have a verb.

How do I get rid of such a situation when I am not sure if something is a participle or a verb?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2014, 15:26
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Expert's post
gmatter0913 wrote:
Mike,

I went with option A because I thought 'evolved' in option B is a participle and not a verb. Hence, I thought the sentence in option B doesn't have a verb.

How do I get rid of such a situation when I am not sure if something is a participle or a verb?

Dear gmatter0913,
Part of the problem is that participles, fundamentally, are verb parts. Every participle could be part of a full bonafide verb. The present participles (-ing) are part of the progressive tense verbs, and the past participle (-ed) is the whole past tense for regular verbs and part of the perfect tense verbs for all verbs. See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verb- ... ct-tenses/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verbs ... ive-tense/
Keep in mind that all verb end in (-ing) in the present participle, but only regular verbs end in (-ed) in the past participle --- there are all kinds of irregular past participles: been, seen, heard, felt, eaten, gone, run, laid, lain, gotten, brought, thought, etc. etc.

Part of what would help is being familiar with all possible tenses of full verbs. I guess I would say --- if you see an "-ed" form of a verb, especially right after a noun, your first assumption should be that it is a past tense verb. If it absolutely doesn't make sense for it to be interpreted as a full bonafide verb, only then see if it makes sense to interpret it as a participle.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2014, 20:11
Couldn't choose between A and B.Now Completely understandable after Mike's explanation.
Thanks,Mike!

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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2015, 12:00
kingb wrote:
Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved from the megalodon, a prehistoric shark measuring over 50 feet in length.

(A) believe that the great white shark has evolved
(B) believe that the great white shark evolved
(C) believed that the great white shark has evolved
(D) are believing that the great white shark has evolved
(E) have believed that the great white shark has evolved

Hi,

bumping into a very old post; isn't has evolved a present perfect tense? If that be the case, then it should be there since impact of the evolution is still there.

Pls help me understand the mistake that I am making here!

Rgds,
Dhruva
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2015, 14:12
kingb wrote:
Scientists believe that the great white shark has evolved from the megalodon, a prehistoric shark measuring over 50 feet in length.

(A) believe that the great white shark has evolved
(B) believe that the great white shark evolved
(C) believed that the great white shark has evolved
(D) are believing that the great white shark has evolved
(E) have believed that the great white shark has evolved

Hi,
bumping into a very old post; isn't has evolved a present perfect tense? If that be the case, then it should be there since impact of the evolution is still there.
Pls help me understand the mistake that I am making here!
Rgds,
Dhruva

Dear Dhruva,
I'm happy to respond. First of all, yes, absolutely, "has evolved" is a present perfect tense verb. And yes, the use of the present perfect tense is 100% correct and appropriate here, because the impact of the evolution is the great white shark, the modern animal that did not exist in previous times (i.e. before the evolution happened). A great white shark is a pretty big present-day impact!! As a general rule, any present animal that exists as the product of evolution is enough of an "impact" in the present moment that "has evolved" is more or less standard.
Here's an article on the perfect tenses:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verb- ... ct-tenses/
Also, if you are not familiar with this standard in the discussions of evolution, then it may be that you need to be reading in English more. See this article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/how-to-imp ... bal-score/
Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2015, 14:29
mikemcgarry wrote:
kingb wrote:

Dear Dhruva,
I'm happy to respond. First of all, yes, absolutely, "has evolved" is a present perfect tense verb. And yes, the use of the present perfect tense is 100% correct and appropriate here, because the impact of the evolution is the great white shark, the modern animal that did not exist in previous times (i.e. before the evolution happened). A great white shark is a pretty big present-day impact!! As a general rule, any present animal that exists as the product of evolution is enough of an "impact" in the present moment that "has evolved" is more or less standard.
Here's an article on the perfect tenses:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-verb- ... ct-tenses/
Also, if you are not familiar with this standard in the discussions of evolution, then it may be that you need to be reading in English more. See this article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/how-to-imp ... bal-score/
Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hi Mike,

Glad to see your reply, I was just wondering if the use of "has" is acceptable then any option not mentioning "has evolved" shall be eliminated. This is why I eliminated option B. However, looking back I think "has" might not be required because "believe that" is a command subjunctive and deems a base form of the verb.

Also, as I understand your explanation to me seems to be contradictory from your reply to gmater0913 (quoting) "The "evolving" happened in the past. It is totally done. At this point, we simply have a great white shark as a finished product, so the "evolving" is all over. For that verb, we need the simple past tense, "evolved."

Regards,
Dhruva
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4042
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Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2015, 17:33
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Expert's post
Hi Mike,

Glad to see your reply, I was just wondering if the use of "has" is acceptable then any option not mentioning "has evolved" shall be eliminated. This is why I eliminated option B. However, looking back I think "has" might not be required because "believe that" is a command subjunctive and deems a base form of the verb.

Also, as I understand your explanation to me seems to be contradictory from your reply to gmater0913 (quoting) "The "evolving" happened in the past. It is totally done. At this point, we simply have a great white shark as a finished product, so the "evolving" is all over. For that verb, we need the simple past tense, "evolved."

Regards,
Dhruva

Dear Dhruva,
I'm happy to respond. First of all, my friend, grammar is not mathematics. In mathematics, for just about everything, there are steps that are 100% correct, and other steps that are 100% incorrect, and not really any middle ground. In the big picture of grammar, a tremendous amount is in that middle ground between totally right and totally wrong. Now, the GMAT tends toward the side of where things are definitively right or definitively wrong, and certainly that's the basis by which we can eliminate some answers and choose others. Nevertheless, don't fall into the trap of believing that every single feature has a mathematically correct and mathematically incorrect form. That is simply not how grammar works.

For a past action that has an arguable effect in the present, both the simple past and the present perfect could be correct: each one gives a different emphasis.
The US Constitution established the system of government that Americans still use.
The US Constitution has established the system of government that Americans still use.

Both are grammatically and logically correct. There's a subtle difference in feeling between these two sentences, but that is NOT a basis by which to eliminate an answer in GMAT SC. In GMAT SC, we can only eliminate an answer is something is clearly wrong or unacceptable, and that is not true of either one of these. It makes no difference whether this is inside a "that" clause or not: both are acceptable.

As concerns my reply to gmater0913, my friend, you are confusing very different grammatical forms. You see, when we attach the -ing ending to a verb, that can create three different grammatical forms that are spelled the same, but have entirely different functions. I explain this in this blog article:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/the-ing-form-of-a-verb/
Let's use the verb "to sing" as an example. When we add -ing, we get the word "singing," which has three completely different grammatical functions:
1) A full verb in the present progressive tense, which describes an ongoing present action
example: Right now, he is singing loud as I am trying to read this book.
time = action in the present moment
2) A participle, which can open a participle phrase
example: The vocalist, singing about the refugees from the war, brought us to tears.
the main verb is past, so the action, the performance of the song, must have been in the past as well
3) A gerund
example: In an ancient Greek drama, the chorus conveyed the background facts by singing.
the action here is over 2000 years old!!
Full verbs have tense and are closely tied to tense, so #1 has a very clear and definite tense. A participle has no inherent tense, and it takes on the tense of the main verb: because "brought" is past tense, we know "singing" also refers to a past tense action. A gerund is completely without tense: I purposely choose an example sentence set more than 2000 years ago to convey how irrelevant the entire idea of tense is to a gerund.
One clear sign of a gerund is the use of the definite article with it, or even the definite article + an adjective --- "the beautiful singing", or "the evolving." These have to be gerunds, and as such, they are entirely unconnected to the idea of tense. If you attribute inherent tenses to gerunds and participles, you will get yourself very confused.
Also, notice how densely unperceptive it is to speak of "the -ing form of a verb," because when we add that -ing ending to a verb, the consequent structure could play any one of three entirely different functions. Many students on GMAT Club use this imprecise language. Using precise language is a very important part of developing a precise understanding.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Re: Scientists believe that the great white shark   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2015, 17:33
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