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# The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte

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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
GMATNinja
shabuzen102
Dear Expert,

I'd like to get some clarifications with this question. Yes, it's about the past perfect tense again.

1. How can we be certain that the action of acceleration happens before the announcement? Couldn't it happen at the same time?

2. If the answer to the above question is that something has to happen before you say it happens, then what about examples of sentences we say all the time, "He knew he was right" "He said he saw the car coming in" etc. Shouldn't they be "He knew he had been right" and "He said he had seen the car coming in" etc.?

3. From a few creditable resources (Manhattan and Magoosh), we've acknowledged that we wouldn't have to use past perfect if that tense is understood from the context. If by using "said" to describe an action, we should immediately know that that action must have happened before saying. That means the past perfect tense is understood. Then wouldn't "had accelerated" be redundant?

4. If reported speech in the past requires past perfect tense for the thing described, then is it the general rule that there's not EVER any question that uses perfect tense in both, and something like "The authority said that the economy slowed down" or "The officials reported that people liked the recent data" would always be wrong?

Thank you!
Sorry for the delay!

It wouldn't really make sense for the action of acceleration to start at EXACTLY the same time as the announcement. How can you announce something that hasn't happened yet?

Now we can certainly announce an ongoing process, but in that case we would want something like, "The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth was accelerating..." - that would imply that the acceleration was still happening at the time of the announcement, but we don't have that option here.

As for your examples, "He knew he was right," actually conveys a slightly different meaning than "He knew he had been right":

• "He knew he was right." - The action of being "right" doesn't stop before the action of "knowing". Being "right", in this case, is a continuous action.
• "He KNEW he had been right when he answered the question on the exam, so he was surprised when he saw an "F" on the graded exam." When did the action of "knowing" happen? At some point in the past (the moment he saw that "F" on his exam). When did the action of "being right" happen? At a DISTINCT time in the past (well before the exam was graded). This construction stresses the difference in the timing of the two actions.

We don't need to make that distinction in conversation, but there's a difference between what passes in day-to-day speech and what's correct on the GMAT! And remember, that the GMAT isn't about coming up with hard and fast rules to blindly apply to future problems. We have to compare the five choices and "select the answer that produces the most effective sentence."

Here we have to choose between "had accelerated" and "accelerated". The use of the past perfect ("had accelerated") makes the chronology crystal clear: the acceleration happened in the past (after the slowing), and the announcement happened at a later point in the past. That makes perfect (no pun intended) sense!

The use of the simple past ("accelerated') is less clear and allows for an interpretation that doesn't make any sense (that the acceleration started at the same time as the announcement).

Does this mean we can carve some rules in stone when it comes to the past perfect and apply those rules to every other sentence we see? Absolutely not. But among the five choices on THIS question, (A) is the best.

Dear GMATNinja,

I know we've been talking back and forth about this, but I've just found a sentence and I can't help myself asking what you think.

"At the end of 2001, motion picture industry representatives said that there were about a million copies of Hollywood movies available online, and that they expected piracy to increase as high-speed Internet connections became more widely available"

First of all, since they "said", then shouldn't the content of what they said be in past perfect tense? Second, when they expected, shouldn't they expect something to happen in the future?
(would become rather than became). Thanks!
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
1
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shabuzen102
GMATNinja
shabuzen102
Dear Expert,

I'd like to get some clarifications with this question. Yes, it's about the past perfect tense again.

1. How can we be certain that the action of acceleration happens before the announcement? Couldn't it happen at the same time?

2. If the answer to the above question is that something has to happen before you say it happens, then what about examples of sentences we say all the time, "He knew he was right" "He said he saw the car coming in" etc. Shouldn't they be "He knew he had been right" and "He said he had seen the car coming in" etc.?

3. From a few creditable resources (Manhattan and Magoosh), we've acknowledged that we wouldn't have to use past perfect if that tense is understood from the context. If by using "said" to describe an action, we should immediately know that that action must have happened before saying. That means the past perfect tense is understood. Then wouldn't "had accelerated" be redundant?

4. If reported speech in the past requires past perfect tense for the thing described, then is it the general rule that there's not EVER any question that uses perfect tense in both, and something like "The authority said that the economy slowed down" or "The officials reported that people liked the recent data" would always be wrong?

Thank you!
Sorry for the delay!

It wouldn't really make sense for the action of acceleration to start at EXACTLY the same time as the announcement. How can you announce something that hasn't happened yet?

Now we can certainly announce an ongoing process, but in that case we would want something like, "The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth was accelerating..." - that would imply that the acceleration was still happening at the time of the announcement, but we don't have that option here.

As for your examples, "He knew he was right," actually conveys a slightly different meaning than "He knew he had been right":

• "He knew he was right." - The action of being "right" doesn't stop before the action of "knowing". Being "right", in this case, is a continuous action.
• "He KNEW he had been right when he answered the question on the exam, so he was surprised when he saw an "F" on the graded exam." When did the action of "knowing" happen? At some point in the past (the moment he saw that "F" on his exam). When did the action of "being right" happen? At a DISTINCT time in the past (well before the exam was graded). This construction stresses the difference in the timing of the two actions.

We don't need to make that distinction in conversation, but there's a difference between what passes in day-to-day speech and what's correct on the GMAT! And remember, that the GMAT isn't about coming up with hard and fast rules to blindly apply to future problems. We have to compare the five choices and "select the answer that produces the most effective sentence."

Here we have to choose between "had accelerated" and "accelerated". The use of the past perfect ("had accelerated") makes the chronology crystal clear: the acceleration happened in the past (after the slowing), and the announcement happened at a later point in the past. That makes perfect (no pun intended) sense!

The use of the simple past ("accelerated') is less clear and allows for an interpretation that doesn't make any sense (that the acceleration started at the same time as the announcement).

Does this mean we can carve some rules in stone when it comes to the past perfect and apply those rules to every other sentence we see? Absolutely not. But among the five choices on THIS question, (A) is the best.

Dear GMATNinja,

I know we've been talking back and forth about this, but I've just found a sentence and I can't help myself asking what you think.

"At the end of 2001, motion picture industry representatives said that there were about a million copies of Hollywood movies available online, and that they expected piracy to increase as high-speed Internet connections became more widely available"

First of all, since they "said", then shouldn't the content of what they said be in past perfect tense? Second, when they expected, shouldn't they expect something to happen in the future?
(would become rather than became). Thanks!
No problem! I understand the confusion.

Before responding to your post, let me stress how important it is to avoid taking something you saw in a correct or incorrect answer choice on one problem and turning it into a concrete rule that can be applied to other problems (i.e. "... okay, when using the verb, 'said', we have to follow it with a past perfect verb.").

Unfortunately, the GMAT doesn't work that way. You have to think really hard about each unique question and decide which choice is the best out of the five available options. The "At the end of 2001..." example is entirely different than this one, and trying to analyze the two simultaneously is like comparing apples to orangutans.

Quote:
First of all, since they "said", then shouldn't the content of what they said be in past perfect tense?
• "that there were about a million copies of Hollywood movies available online" - the number of copies available online is a piece of data that changes over time, not an ongoing action like "accelerating".
• So it makes perfect sense to cite the number of copies that are available at any given moment.
• Using the past perfect would change the meaning entirely. For example, we could use the past perfect to refer to a time even further in the past, i.e.: "At the end of 2001, motion picture industry representatives said that there had been about a million copies of Hollywood movies available online during the late 1990s..."

Quote:
Second, when they expected, shouldn't they expect something to happen in the future?
I believe this question was already addressed in this post. If not, please post any follup-up questions on the thread of that question.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
Hi GMATNinja!
Can you please explain why the portion "the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far" is in the present tense when the announcement happened in the past. I am having a tough time wrapping my head round it.
Anybody else who can help me with this issue is also welcome.
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
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PSP92
Hi GMATNinja!
Can you please explain why the portion "the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far" is in the present tense when the announcement happened in the past. I am having a tough time wrapping my head round it.
Anybody else who can help me with this issue is also welcome.
First, all five answer choices contain "are," so during the exam, you wouldn't give the issue a second thought. But generally speaking, it's fine for actions to have different tenses, as long as they're logical. For instance:

Tim fell out of a tree even though he insists that he climbs with the dexterity of a ring-tailed lemur.

Here, Tim fell out of the tree in the past, but he continues to maintain beliefs about his ability in the present. That's fine. They're different kinds of actions. You fall out of a tree at a given time. You can believe stuff over an extended period.

Same deal here. The policy makers made their announcement at a given time. But signs of high prices can persist for an extended period, so it's perfectly reasonable to write that the policy makers made an announcement yesterday about a phenomenon that continues to be true today.

For more on GMAT verb tenses, check out this live video.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
Signs are better quoted to be in few than little which made me cancel C and D and that is a necessary element that couldn't be eleminated
Which led me to narrow down to A and E and later i eleminated E due to the absence of had and hence IMO A
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
I find this question poor. From Feds point of view, the growth accelerated after Q2. The past perfect is quite unnecessary and actually makes the sentence more confusing. Especially if you think the sentence is just repeating "what the Fed said", then having this past perfect wouldn't make any sense.
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The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
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himanshu0077
why option E is not correct?
Here's the (E) version.

The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far.

Notice that the announcement mentioned is about an event, "growth accelerated," that occurred before the announcement was made.

However, the sentence uses the simple past tense "said" and the simple past tense "accelerated" in discussing both the announcement and the acceleration of growth.

By using the simple past tense for both events, the sentence communicates that they occurred at the same time. This meaning is in conflict with the idea that growth accelerated before the announcement was made.

In order for the sentence to be logical, it has to use different tenses in discussing the announcement and the acceleration, and what makes sense is to use the simple past "said" and the past perfect "had accelerated" to communicate that "had accelerated" occurred before "said." We see this use of tenses in the correct answer.
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The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policymakers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far.

(A) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policymakers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few.
so A is our winner.

(B) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policymakers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few.
it missed the parallelism that, that why b is out.

(C) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policymakers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little
if uncountable nouns use either little or less
second, countable nouns use either few or fewer.

(D) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policymakers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little
the same reason as (c).so that D is out.

(E) that growth accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policymakers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few
past events sequence is not matched.
When two things were done in the past, the earlier action must be HAD+V3 then after V2
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
MartyTargetTestPrep. In TTP i read that when we see the use of words such as "After, Before, At first", it indicates a time sequence that is clear and that a simple past tense can be used here.

In sentences in which the time sequence isnt clear, for ex, Use of word "BY, UNTILL, SINCE", we have to use past perfect tense - has/have.

Accordingly Option E should be correct, but it isnt.
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The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
Afn24
MartyTargetTestPrep. In TTP i read that when we see the use of words such as "After, Before, At first", it indicates a time sequence that is clear and that a simple past tense can be used here.

In sentences in which the time sequence isnt clear, for ex, Use of word "BY, UNTILL, SINCE", we have to use past perfect tense - has/have.

Accordingly Option E should be correct, but it isnt.
Here's the (E) version.

The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far.

Notice the two verbs "said" and "accelerated." They are both in the simple past even though the growth accelerated before the announcement said.

We do have "after," in the sentence, but that "after" is used to communicate that growth accelerated "after slowing." It's not used to communicate that "said" occurred after "accelerated."

So, the time sequence of "said" occurring after "accelerated" is not properly indicated by this version since both verbs use the simple past and there's no other word indicating that "said" occurred after "accelerated."
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The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

I could have made it right as couldn't notice some changes. I was confused whether to use few or little btw.
that growth---- that the policy- parallelism maintained in option A
use of had is compulsary as two timelines are mentioned as second quarter and another quarter.
I think if i used these two signs properly, only left will be the option A.
However i am most of the time got confused with usage of 'few' as i thought that signs is something which is uncountable.
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
Deep32470
that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

I could have made it right as couldn't notice some changes. I was confused whether to use few or little btw.
that growth---- that the policy- parallelism maintained in option A
use of had is compulsary as two timelines are mentioned as second quarter and another quarter.
I think if i used these two signs properly, only left will be the option A.
However i am most of the time got confused with usage of 'few' as i thought that signs is something which is uncountable.
Would it be reasonable to say that there are "three signs" or "ten signs"? If so, you definitely have a countable noun. More broadly: if something is plural, it must be countable, right?

For more on countable vs. non-countable nouns, check out this crusty old live video, or this newer, shorter one.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
RaviChandra
The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far.

(A) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

(B) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

(C) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little

(D) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little

(E) that growth accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

If it looks overwhelming, we should make things easier and look for low hanging fruit. After the underlined clause, the word is signs which is countable. Hence it should be few and not little. So eliminate C and D

(C) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little
(D) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little

If you have that after said, this relative pronoun is a marker for parallelism. So read the sentence again. We see that B doesnt follow parallelism so lets eliminate that.
(B) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

Now we have:
(A) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few
(E) that growth accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few

Here we can see acceleration of growth was in the past so it needs Had hence A > E and A is the answer
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Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few signs of higher energy prices driving up the cost of other goods so far.

Option Elimination -

(A) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few - correct use of "had accelerated" as this event happened before the announcement "said." Moreover, "remain" in the present tense is okay as they are still concerned, even though there are a few signs. "Few" is okay as we need a countable.

(B) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few - When we have "that" in the part after "and" " we need "that" in the earlier part as well. While it's ok to miss the "that" in the second part after the first, but not another way round.

(C) that growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little - "little" is uncountable. We need a countable "few."

(D) growth had accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are little - "little" is uncountable. We need a countable "few."

(E) that growth accelerated after slowing in the second quarter and that the policy makers remain concerned about the prospects of inflation, even though there are few - We need past perfect as the growth "accelerated" and "said" are not happening simultaneously.
Re: The Federal Reserve announcement said that growth had accelerated afte [#permalink]
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