the famous 'have lived' vs 'had lived' : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# the famous 'have lived' vs 'had lived'

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Intern
Joined: 18 Apr 2009
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25 Apr 2009, 08:47
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Hi, i think we all know the following

I have lived in Moscow for eight years. (still live in Moscow)
I had lived in Moscow for eight years, before I moved to New York. (No longer live in Moscow)

But, i got confused when I try to apply present/past pefect in following cases:

All y chromosome in existence today are descended from y chromosome of a single ancestor who is thought to have lived about 150,000 years ago (O)
All y chromosome in existence today are descended from y chromosome of a single ancestor who is thought to had lived about 150,000 years ago (X)

Since a present perfect is used when an action is continuing from the past to present, the anscestor in this case obviously no longer live till present, so my first thought was it has to be past perfect, 'had lived'.

What is wrong with my approach on present perfect in this case?

Then, for past perfect, it must indicate the action is completed before another action in the past, but since there is no other past in this sentense to indicate the action is completed before another past, we should just use a simple past as follow:

All y chromosome in existence today are descended from y chromosome of a single ancestor who lived about 150,000 years ago (Is this wrong?)

If you have any questions
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26 Apr 2009, 12:41
Most common ways to join the past event with present are:
1) using TO: Dinosaurs are believed to have lived mln years ago = Combination of a) People believe & b) Dinosaurs lived mln years ago.
2) using THAT, AS IF & so on: People believe that dinosaurs lived mln years ago. People believe that dinosaurs had lived before ice age began. But never: Dinosaurs are believed to had lived ....

If you still have difficulty deciding To have V3 or To Had V3, then simple rule is " After infinitive never V3 (past) but V1.

V3 - past participle of verb ( 3 rd form)

I hope it helps, sorry, I was not good at explaining shortly
Re: the famous 'have lived' vs 'had lived'   [#permalink] 26 Apr 2009, 12:41
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