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Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC

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Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years.

(A) had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
(B) have reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(C) have reached an E-5 ranking in under three years
(D) had reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(E) have reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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hi feruz77,

which book are you studying? You always have difficult questions! :?
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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I say this is 700+ question. My choice is A.

the key to past perfect here is that the act of reaching the ranks was complete for 21 percent, who reached it within 3 years.
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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MGMAT SC says whenever you use since, use it with a present perfect not past perfect.

Quote from page 109: "If you use SINCE with a time phrase, such as 1987, use the present perfect.
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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How can we reconcile to a past perfect when the phenomenon is still going on. Let us drop all the - had reached choices -. Among B, C and E, although E seems to be the choice by grammar, C is more elegant and pleasant to hear, as I deem it is an acceptable form of idiom to say - under three years.-

If the official answer is not between C and E, then may I seek the OE for justifying the OA.
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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correct ans is actually B. see the explanation by knewton.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/an-odd-st-t70077.html
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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I was going with E... but I still dont know what the correct answer is from the lack of explanations. :(
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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Anyone with an explaination on this one?

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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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Ok, I read the MGMAT SC again and think the B is the right choice. Wtf, yes choose 'fewer' rather than 'less' does not make sense in this case. The year in this case is unit noun of the uncountable noun time. So we cannot say fewer than time... We have to say less than time => less three year OR fewer than three year number (I do not find the other nouns rather than number to express the example as in the MGMAT SC)
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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feruz77 wrote:
Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC had reached
an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
.

(A) had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
(B) have reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(C) have reached an E-5 ranking in under three years
(D) had reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(E) have reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years



The logic is simple. The time frame talked about is 3 years since 1966. Present perfect tenses always show some connection between what happened in the past and the present situation. It cannot be applied here as the time frame in the question is only in the past.

Between fewer and less, it is quite evident; when we ask the question how many?, we use "fewer", if we ask how much?, it would have been "less"

Hope it helps.

OA is also A i guess

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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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arichinna wrote:
feruz77 wrote:
Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC had reached
an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
.

(A) had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
(B) have reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(C) have reached an E-5 ranking in under three years
(D) had reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(E) have reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years



The logic is simple. The time frame talked about is 3 years since 1966. Present perfect tenses always show some connection between what happened in the past and the present situation. It cannot be applied here as the time frame in the question is only in the past.

Between fewer and less, it is quite evident; when we ask the question how many?, we use "fewer", if we ask how much?, it would have been "less"

Hope it helps.

OA is also A i guess

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refer this gmat prep question::
http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/les ... t4355.html

less than is used with years.
Years is a unit and quantities measured in units are uncountable. e.g money, time or distance.

fewer than 3 years : is not correct.
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Re: #Top150 SC: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the [#permalink]

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IMHO (B)

Quote:
A. had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years

B. have reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years

C. have reached an E-5 ranking in under three years

D. had reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years

E. have reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years

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Re: #Top150 SC: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the [#permalink]

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Although i picked B
,there is heavy debate over usage of less than or fewer in reference to year

Some say years as uncountable some say its countable

As OA given is B years can be considered as uncountable

Experts please help if years is countable or uncountable
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Re: #Top150 SC: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the [#permalink]

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souvik101990 wrote:
Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years.

A. had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years

B. have reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years

C. have reached an E-5 ranking in under three years

D. had reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years

E. have reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years


Please Explain why option E is incorrect
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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nahid78 wrote:
mikemcgarry sir,
I am lost...
My understanding is....
Reaching is not continuing. So, past perfect should be used.
I am confused between LESS and Fewer. I think less is right as here amount of time is indicated.

fleamkt wrote:
Why had and not have and why fewer and not less? This question on other sources says b is correct....

Dear nahid78 & fleamkt,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friends, we have a tricky issue here. This is a poor question, and it was written by somebody who simply doesn't understand the GMAT SC. Thus, the OA provided by the author of the question is wrong by GMAT standards. The best answer is (B), as others on this thread have argued, but unfortunately, I do not have the right to change the OA. You see, the question does not belong to me. If it were a Magoosh question with a mistake, I would have ever right to change the OA. Also, if the person posting the question had made a mistake copying from the source, I would have the right to change the question. But when the author of the question is the one who makes the mistake, that person is the owner of the question, and I don't have the legal right to alter it.

Here's the question.
Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years.
(A) had reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years
(B) have reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(C) have reached an E-5 ranking in under three years
(D) had reached an E-5 ranking in less than three years
(E) have reached an E-5 ranking in fewer than three years


Split #1: "fewer" vs. "less"
We use "fewer" for countable items (e.g. cars, countries, situations, businesses, etc.)
We use "less" for things that come in continuous bulk (time, space, money, etc.)
The case that always confuses people, and that confused the author of this question, is the case involving units. When we have units of quantities that come in uncountable bulk, we do NOT treat the units as countable entities. Thus
less than three years = less time than three years
less than five miles = less distance that five miles
less than $12 = less money than $12
All of those are correct. It would be incorrect to use "fewer," as the question author did. Choice (A) & (E) are wrong by GMAT standards.

Split #2: present perfect vs. past perfect
We use the past perfect tense when we need to show that one past action happened before another action. The past perfect is simply wrong here. We use the present perfect tense to show
(a) when an action began in the past and is still continuing, or
(b) when an action took place in the past, started & finished in the past, but its effects are still felt in the present time.
The present perfect tense is ideal here, because when a soldier is promoted to a rank, the action of the promotion is a one-time event, but the effect, the new rank, is something that continues into the present.
Choices (D) & (E) are wrong.

The "under three years" in (C) is a bit casual. This is not wrong enough to be a wrong answer by GMAT standards.

The strongest answer is (B).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2010, 17:18
I'd prefer present perfect here too.

There's no other clause describing the timeline, so I'm inclined to believe 'since 1966' means from 1966 to present.

Any other opinions?
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2010, 19:28
I prefer Present perfect..because "since 1966"
Also I could not see Two events (past perfect and Past tense ) In this sentence, Based on this, "Had reached.." eliminated.
If anyone disagrees,I am happy to see his or her explanations
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2010, 22:42
OA pls, pls give source or OE along with OA
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2011, 02:30
I still haven't understood why past perfect tense. Why not present perfect???
Past perfect is normally used for the tenses with two time frames in the past.

Please explain.
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2011, 03:05
One more for E. Past perfect just doesn't make sense here.
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Re: Since 1966, roughly 21 percent of those enlisted in the USMC   [#permalink] 04 Feb 2011, 03:05

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