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Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua

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Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2007, 21:05
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Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were constructed in violation of the city's building code.

(A) Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were

(B) Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been

(C) Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year have been

(D) Last year the earthquake destroyed or heavly damaged some buildings that have been

(E) Last year some of the buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earth quake had been
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2013, 03:45
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x2suresh wrote:
37(OG VR)
Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were constructed in violation of the city's building code.


A)Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were
"destroyed and heavily damaged" is nonsensical. A thing cannot be destroyed and damaged at the same time.
B)Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been
"Last year" modifies "earthquake". "Had been constructed" indicates the point in time before "were destroyed". Makes sense.
C)Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year have been
Wrong for the same reason as A.
D)Last year the earthquake destroyed or heavly damaged some buildings that have been
"Have been constructed" means that the buildings still stand illogically neglecting the earthquake.
E) Last year some of the buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earth quake had been.
"that were destroyed..." is a modifier of "the buildings", making "Last year" a modifier of "had been constructed".
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2008, 02:28
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B

1. Buildings had been constructed before they were destroyed or heavily damaged. - we need Past Perfect
2. were destroyed or heavily damaged - 'and' is incorrect here, because a building cannot be destroyed of damaged simultaneously.
3. 'Some of the buildings that were .....' changes the meaning of 'Some buildings'.
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2011, 09:50
B
Buildings should be destroyed "or" heavily damaged, not "and". Furthermore, the construction occurred prior to the earthquake so the past perfect "had been" should be used.
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2014, 23:26
Can somebody tell me why do is 'had been' correct in option B?
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2014, 23:36
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gmatter0913 wrote:
Can somebody tell me why do is 'had been' correct in option B?


Because we have to show that the buildings were built BEFORE they were destroyed in the earthquake.

So only past perfect can represent something that happened before something in past.

(B) Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been constructed
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2014, 11:36
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sa2222 wrote:
Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were constructed in violation of the city's building code.

A)Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were
B)Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been
C)Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthquake last year have been
D)Last year the earthquake destroyed or heavly damaged some buildings that have been
E) Last year some of the buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earth quake had been.


My pick was B. But one question for everyone out there. What if we had one answer choice as -
"Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were"

I know that "had been" or Past Perfect is used to indicate the sequence of events. But, if the above was one of the answer choice - then do we pick "were" or "had been". The reasoning being - Past Perfect is only used when required. Since the building were already destroyed as mentioned in the original sentence, obviously they were constructed before their destruction. In that case - the sequence of events could be depicted even without using Past Perfect. Please let me know - Expert thoughts??

Thanks!


Hi!

You are right that the past-perfect tense is used to clarify the sequence of events. However, that is only one of the two uses of this tense. The other use is to emphasize or impress on the sequence of events. When do we do so? We emphasize the chain of events if the earlier of the two actions has a bearing on the later action. The question at hand is a great example of both the accepted uses of past-perfect tense. Let’s look at choice B:

Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been constructed in violation of the city's building code.


The above sentence uses the past-perfect tense correctly. Not only does it conveys the sequence of event but also emphasizes the same. We need this emphasis because the earlier event has a direct bearing on the second event here. The damage to/destruction of the buildings is related to how they were constructed initially- hence, the use of past-perfect tense here. For this reason, I do not think the simple-past tense will be able to do justice to the intended meaning of the author here.

Let’s consider a choice that uses the simple-past tense in both the verbs. So, it would be something like this:

Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year were constructed in violation of the city's building code.


Now, I agree that technically destruction of/ damage to something can happen only after that thing has been constructed. Despite this common understanding, the above sentence leaves open a very slight possibility to misinterpret the meaning of the sentence. It could mislead the reader in to thinking that the construction refers to the restoration work on the buildings. This possibility, no matter how minute, does not exist in the correct choice. Also, as mentioned earlier, the emphasis on the sequence of events is of paramount importance to the intended meaning of the author.

Hope the above discussion helps! :)

This question is from OG VR2. You can view our full length solutions to VR2 questions here : https://e-gmat.com/blogs/?cat=45.

Happy learning! :)

Regards,
Neeti.
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2015, 09:46
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The final split is between B and E, no doubt. But B is better because of proper modification by the modifier “last year”. In B, the modifier phrase correctly modifies the earthquake, since it was the earthquake that occurred last year. In E, the phrase rather modifies some of the buildings giving a twist to the intended meaning as if the destroyed or damaged buildings were constructed last year.
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2015, 01:13
Can someone please explain my above doubt about meaning change.

Although I understand it is an official question and so, it is definitely correct.
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2015, 01:58
gmatgrl;

You are on the dot. E has certainly a meaning change due to the wrong placement of the phrase 'last year'. The OA is B
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Re: Some buildings that were destroyed and heavily damaged in the earthqua &nbs [#permalink] 30 Nov 2015, 01:58
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