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Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning

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Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2017, 20:37
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Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

A. were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

B. has been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

C. had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

D. is juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there was nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but only

E. have been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral except

----------------

Although I chose the correct answer, I'm confused because my reasoning about tenses is different from that of OE (provided by GMAT Club).
- In my opinion, the first clause seems to describe sth happening in the past, so it cannot be in present tense. Then "by a quarter to one in the morning" indicates another event happening earlier than the first one (morning is before sunset, right?). That's why it should take past perfect tense. (A) wins.
- OE: For using past perfect the later past event does not need to be expressed with a Simple Past tense verb. One could just use a date or another time reference. Using this construction, this sentence is set up, in which the first clause expresses an early action in Simple Past. Then, a later clause expresses a later action in Past Perfect to indicate continued effect (by a still later past time).

Reading OE, I wonder why "early action" takes simple past, while "later action" takes past perfect tense??

After searching on google, I've found out this article - http://www.economist.com/technology-qua ... space-2016, in which option (C) seems to be the correct answer. Really confused now

Experts GMATNinja, sayantanc2k, could you please shed some light?

Any thought, bro? anairamitch1804 HeadingEast gmatexam439
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2017, 20:53
They could have been talking about the next morning too. So to make it more clear , the sequence of events should be in the order in which they happened. So sunset first and then the morning. !!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2017, 21:01
They could have been talking about the next morning too. So to make it more clear , the sequence of events should be in the order in which they happened. So sunset first and then the morning. !!

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

If so, then the first clause should take past perfect tense, and the second clause simple past tense. This contradicts OA, don't u think so?
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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07 Jul 2017, 21:16
Lucy Phuong wrote:
Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

A. were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

B. has been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

C. had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

D. is juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there was nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but only

E. have been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral except

----------------

Although I chose the correct answer, I'm confused because my reasoning about tenses is different from that of OE (provided by GMAT Club).
- In my opinion, the first clause seems to describe sth happening in the past, so it cannot be in present tense. Then "by a quarter to one in the morning" indicates another event happening earlier than the first one (morning is before sunset, right?). That's why it should take past perfect tense. (A) wins.
- OE: For using past perfect the later past event does not need to be expressed with a Simple Past tense verb. One could just use a date or another time reference. Using this construction, this sentence is set up, in which the first clause expresses an early action in Simple Past. Then, a later clause expresses a later action in Past Perfect to indicate continued effect (by a still later past time).

Reading OE, I wonder why "early action" takes simple past, while "later action" takes past perfect tense??

After searching on google, I've found out this article - http://www.economist.com/technology-qua ... space-2016, in which option (C) seems to be the correct answer. Really confused now

Experts GMATNinja, sayantanc2k, could you please shed some light?

Any thought, bro? anairamitch1804 HeadingEast gmatexam439

If you look at the context, you will notice author wants to point out the oddity of sudden lightning after there had been nothing of that sort early morning. So if you compile the sequence of events, it should be like this.

1- Quarter to 1, clear sky.
2- Sudden lightning late that evening.
3- Narration of both events.

Only this can explain choice A. Maybe daagh can chime in.
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 01:43
jedit wrote:
If you look at the context, you will notice author wants to point out the oddity of sudden lightning after there had been nothing of that sort early morning. So if you compile the sequence of events, it should be like this.

1- Quarter to 1, clear sky.
2- Sudden lightning late that evening.
3- Narration of both events.

Then I guess your thought is quite similar to mine, right?

jedit wrote:
Only this can explain choice A. Maybe daagh can chime in.

Expert daagh could you please share some thoughts?
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 02:31
jedit wrote:
Lucy Phuong wrote:
Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

A. were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

B. has been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

C. had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

D. is juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there was nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but only

E. have been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral except

----------------

Although I chose the correct answer, I'm confused because my reasoning about tenses is different from that of OE (provided by GMAT Club).
- In my opinion, the first clause seems to describe sth happening in the past, so it cannot be in present tense. Then "by a quarter to one in the morning" indicates another event happening earlier than the first one (morning is before sunset, right?). That's why it should take past perfect tense. (A) wins.
- OE: For using past perfect the later past event does not need to be expressed with a Simple Past tense verb. One could just use a date or another time reference. Using this construction, this sentence is set up, in which the first clause expresses an early action in Simple Past. Then, a later clause expresses a later action in Past Perfect to indicate continued effect (by a still later past time).

Reading OE, I wonder why "early action" takes simple past, while "later action" takes past perfect tense??

After searching on google, I've found out this article - http://www.economist.com/technology-qua ... space-2016, in which option (C) seems to be the correct answer. Really confused now

Experts GMATNinja, sayantanc2k, could you please shed some light?

Any thought, bro? anairamitch1804 HeadingEast gmatexam439

If you look at the context, you will notice author wants to point out the oddity of sudden lightning after there had been nothing of that sort early morning. So if you compile the sequence of events, it should be like this.

1- Quarter to 1, clear sky.
2- Sudden lightning late that evening.
3- Narration of both events.

Only this can explain choice A. Maybe daagh can chime in.

The sequence of events that you are assuming is

Quarter to 1 ----------->Evening (Lightning)------>Narration of the events.

But what if I assume the sequence to be

Evening (Lightning) ----------->Quarter to 1------>Narration of the events

The justification that i forward for the above thought of mine is the statement that its 'quarter to 1 in the morning' as mentioned in the passage and i presume it means 0100 hrs.
The sequence of events seems to be logical too....There was inclement weather in the evening and the skies cleared by 1 in the morning and then the narration happens.

Going by what i mentioned should'nt option D be more appropriate??
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 03:02
1
Good question. Answer is clearly A for the reasons stated below:

1. "juddering green stabs' is plural. Hence, using "has" or "is" is INCORRECT. Hence, option B and D are out.
2. The keyword to notice here is morning. It means the event associated with morning should be first and then the one with afternoon. Hence, "there had been nothing in the warm" is CORRECT.

A. were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

B. has been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

C. had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but --> lightning happened later. So, incorrect.

D. is juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there was nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but only

E. have been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral except --> Original sentence is talking about what happened in the past. While this sentence is talking about present. Hence, incorrect.
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 03:10
abhimahna wrote:
Good question. Answer is clearly A for the reasons stated below:

1. "juddering green stabs' is plural. Hence, using "has" or "is" is INCORRECT. Hence, option B and D are out.
2. The keyword to notice here is morning. It means the event associated with morning should be first and then the one with afternoon. Hence, "there had been nothing in the warm" is CORRECT.

A. were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

B. has been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

C. had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but --> lightning happened later. So, incorrect.

D. is juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there was nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but only

E. have been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral except --> Original sentence is talking about what happened in the past. While this sentence is talking about present. Hence, incorrect.

Mucho Gracias for bringing out that subtle little 'is' fault in the option D. Made my day. Kudos to you
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 04:16
Just read the OE and the article where the sentence in option (C) is extracted from, warriorguy.

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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 04:56
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Lucy Phuong wrote:
Just read the OE and the article where the sentence in option (C) is extracted from, warriorguy.

I would like to go with Option (C). Could be wrong but here is my thought:

The usual cycle is morning followed by evening - so morning should be earlier event - past perfect and evening is a later event - so simple past tense.

But look at this scenario

I saw lightening at 07:00 p.m. on 7th June but at 01:00 a.m. (i.e. the morning of next day) - 8th June - there was nothing but a cloud.

Though 1 a.m. is still night time, it is technically referred to as morning since 13:00 would be afternoon.

So, we have the thundering in the evening first followed by the lightening in the next day morning

Event cycle --> past perfect --> past tense.

Also, look out for "but by a quarter to one in the morning". The keyword 'by' tells me that the event described next followed the thundering event.

Shortly after sunset there had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

This is my thought. I could be wrong.
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Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 08 Jul 2017, 08:55
warriorguy wrote:

I would like to go with Option (C). Could be wrong but here is my thought:

The usual cycle is morning followed by evening - so morning should be earlier event - past perfect and evening is a later event - so simple past tense.

But look at this scenario

I saw lightening at 07:00 p.m. on 7th June but at 01:00 a.m. (i.e. the morning of next day) - 8th June - there was nothing but a cloud.

Though 1 a.m. is still night time, it is technically referred to as morning since 13:00 would be afternoon.

So, we have the thundering in the evening first followed by the lightening in the next day morning

Event cycle --> past perfect --> past tense.

Also, look out for "but by a quarter to one in the morning". The keyword 'by' tells me that the event described next followed the thundering event.

Shortly after sunset there had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

This is my thought. I could be wrong.

Interesting. kudos to u

But reading your reasoning, I just wonder why the first clause is in past perfect tense, while the second one is in present tense? I mean, there should be another event happening between. That extra event should be in the simple past tense, right? Because when we use past perfect tense, there must be 2 events, one happening before the other. But according to option (C), I just see the former (thunder) and cannot see the latter..

Originally posted by Lucy Phuong on 08 Jul 2017, 07:10.
Last edited by Lucy Phuong on 08 Jul 2017, 08:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 07:41
Lucy Phuong wrote:
warriorguy wrote:

I would like to go with Option (C). Could be wrong but here is my thought:

The usual cycle is morning followed by evening - so morning should be earlier event - past perfect and evening is a later event - so simple past tense.

But look at this scenario

I saw lightening at 07:00 p.m. on 7th June but at 01:00 a.m. (i.e. the morning of next day) - 8th June - there was nothing but a cloud.

Though 1 a.m. is still night time, it is technically referred to as morning since 13:00 would be afternoon.

So, we have the thundering in the evening first followed by the lightening in the next day morning

Event cycle --> past perfect --> past tense.

Also, look out for "but by a quarter to one in the morning". The keyword 'by' tells me that the event described next followed the thundering event.

Shortly after sunset there had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

This is my thought. I could be wrong.

Interesting

But reading your reasoning, I just wonder why the first clause is in past perfect tense, while the second one is in present tense? I mean, there should be another event happening between. That extra event should be in the simple past tense, right? Because when we use past perfect tense, there must be 2 events, one happening before the other. But according to option (C), I just see the former (thunder) and cannot see the latter..

True - it should be 'was'. Also, the past perfect tense, in my opinion, is optional since we have timeline marker 'after'.
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Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 08:49
warriorguy wrote:
True - it should be 'was'. Also, the past perfect tense, in my opinion, is optional since we have timeline marker 'after'.

Not sure whether I understand your point, but I think, even when we have the marker "after", confusion about past perfect tense still remains, because the order of events would be as following:

sunset ---> lightening -----[..............]---> nothing in the air ---> a quarter to one in the morning

Still need something filling the blank, right?

Btw, if "after" was changed to "before", then our concern about option (C) could be cleared. However, that sentence is extracted from an article.. I think it's justified for a reason...
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 09:18
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1
Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but a thin patchwork of moonlit cloud.

A. were juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there had been nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

B. has been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

C. had been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but

D. is juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there was nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral but only

E. have been juddering green stabs of lightning to the south, but by a quarter to one in the morning there is nothing in the warm, wet July air over Cape Canaveral except

Lucy and Jedit
Hi and thank you
We can now remove B and D for the SV mismatch. We can also kick C for mixing up the past perfect with a present tense
The crux of the matter now is to decide logically whether the sunset affair or the early morning affair happened first. Here the use of the contrast conjunction 'but' plays a pivotal role
Whenever we use a contrast, the contrast must logically refer to the second event. I drank coffee in the evening but took tea at midnight implies that the midnight affair was in contrast to the evening affair. By this logic, E fits in more that A considering the use of the sequential tense. However, in A, the sequential tensing erroneously takes a somersault

However, alas! This is a short-lived delight. As you know the evening affair was over by early morning the next day, giving way to a new phenomenon. To ascribe a present perfect for the closed affair is jarring. All the same, perhaps E is the lesser of the evils.
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 10:04
daagh wrote:

Lucy and Jedit
Hi and thank you
We can now remove B and D for the SV mismatch. We can also kick C for mixing up the past perfect with a present tense
The crux of the matter now is to decide logically whether the sunset affair or the early morning affair happened first. Here the use of the contrast conjunction 'but' plays a pivotal role
Whenever we use a contrast, the contrast must logically refer to the second event. I drank coffee in the evening but took tea at midnight implies that the midnight affair was in contrast to the evening affair. By this logic, E fits in more that A considering the use of the sequential tense. However, in A, the sequential tensing erroneously takes a somersault

However, alas! This is a short-lived delight. As you know the evening affair was over by early morning the next day, giving way to a new phenomenon. To ascribe a present perfect for the closed affair is jarring. All the same, perhaps E is the lesser of the evils.

Thank you so much, expert daagh

I could absorb well your explanation until this line - "By this logic, E fits in more that A considering the use of the sequential tense. However, in A, the sequential tensing erroneously takes a somersault". Still wonder why E fits more than A?? Can you please elaborate more on this?

Actually, I did eliminate choice (E) quite soon because "except" is not a proper idiom. It should be "except for", I think. What do you think about this?

Ah one more question (sorry, the more I think about this question, the more questions I come up with): Option (C) is actually extracted from this article - http://www.economist.com/technology-qua ... space-2016. I believe that this sentence is still justified for a reason.. Look forward to your thought on this.

Thank you again!
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 10:45
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Lucy

To continue:

Quote:
However, in A, the sequential tensing erroneously takes a somersault".

The sequential tensing stipulates that the earlier event entails an earlier tense and the latter event the subsequent tense. To elaborate, the earlier sunset event should take the past perfect while the later midnight event take the past tense. You might see this order of tensing is reversed in A. Don't you feel, in E, the sequentially former present perfect tense of the sunset affair, namely, ' have been' is logically followed by the later tense, namely, 'is' for the morning event?

Quote:
Ah one more question (sorry, the more I think about this question, the more questions I come up with): Option (C) is actually extracted from this article - http://www.economist.com/technology-qua ... space-2016. I believe that this sentence is still justified for a reason. Look forward to your thought on this.

In general, the media's communication is meant to attract the audience more by adornment than by the dreary grammar of a GMAT. The passage is more like a conversational running commentary or story telling than like scientific reporting
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 11:17
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1
The chronology of events in the sentence is guaranteed by the use of "but by". If you think of a simpler sentence with the same structure:

"In 1923, the tax rate was 15%, but by 1911 the tax rate was 11%"

that sentence makes no sense, because when we say "but by 1911..." in this way, what we mean is: "but by the time 1911 rolled around...". The time we're describing would need to come after 1923 if we say "but by...".

If you wanted to compare 1923 with an earlier time, you'd need to say something like "but in", or "but as far back as".

So in this sentence, the sunset happened first. I don't think I like any of the answer choices, at least if this is a GMAT question. C is grammatically correct, but only if the writer is writing at exactly the time they are describing when they use the present tense, i.e. only if the sentence is being written at 12:45 a.m. That can happen in journalistic reporting, but I don't think I've ever seen the present tense used that way in a real GMAT question.
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 18:44
Thank you, experts daagh and IanStewart.
Now I understand why the event in second clause should happen after that in the first clause. Also feel interested in your viewpoints about that "real" sentence in the article.
Really appreciate such healthy discussion as this one.

+kudos to both of you
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Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2017, 01:08
Finally I think someone concurred with my line of thought.

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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2019, 05:34
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Re: Shortly after sunset there were juddering green stabs of lightning   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2019, 05:34
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