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# The king's guests had had plenty of time to glut themselves...

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Intern
Joined: 23 Jan 2016
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30 Jan 2016, 08:06
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The king's guests had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they were too stupefied, drunk, and startled to react effectively.

(A) had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they
(B) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they
(C) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels had broken into the castle, and thus the guests
(D) had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus the guests
(E) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels were breaking into the castle, and furthermore they
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30 Jan 2016, 08:39
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bharat111 wrote:
The king's guests had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they were too stupefied, drunk, and startled to react effectively.

(A) had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they
(B) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they
(C) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels had broken into the castle, and thus the guests
(D) had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus the guests
(E) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels were breaking into the castle, and furthermore they

The Q is testing us on two points..
1) pronoun :- 'they' in and thus they is ambiguous .. it could refer to rebels or guests, so A,B and E out..
2) past perfect :- C is wrong on the usage of past perfect..
(C) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels had broken into the castle, and thus the guests

ans D
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30 Jan 2016, 09:14
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A, B and E can be dumped for the simple reason that 'they' has an ambiguous reference to either the guests or rebels.
Between C and D: by the time in effect means before. Therefore, the feasting was an earlier event while breaking in was a later event. As such, use of past perfect 'had had' for the guests and simple past 'broke' for the rebels is correct in D. C, in fact, reverses the order of the tense usage.
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01 Nov 2016, 20:13
This is quite an interesting question- the key identifier is the pronoun they. They refers to the guests and not the goons breaking in so

(A) had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they, This they can refer to any one of the rebels or the guests. Hence wrong choice.
(B) had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus they: Same problem as A
(C)had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels had broken into the castle, and thus the guests
Had broken, no the actions occurred at that instant, not in the past. Thus it should be simple past broke into.
D)had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus the guests : YAY, Mr right answer
(E)had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels were breaking into the castle, and furthermore they: Both furthermore and they, what the hell is happening

Hope this helps !
Current Student
Joined: 23 Jul 2015
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19 Jan 2017, 03:16
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Hi Experts,

I understand why correct answer is correct as explained in above replies. However, 'they' in choice A cannot logically refer to rebels, or can it?

'The king's guests had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus rebels were too stupefied, drunk, and startled to react effectively' doesn't make sense.

Thanks
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10 Feb 2017, 07:54
Why do we need past perfect in this? We are given the time marker - by the time- so past perfect does not seem mandatory?
Also, I don't think THEY is ambigous. It should be referring to guests only as the subject is guest and they had the feasts so logically the subject of next IC should be guest.
Experts - pease suggest.
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11 Feb 2017, 09:56
rakaisraka wrote:
Why do we need past perfect in this? We are given the time marker - by the time- so past perfect does not seem mandatory?
Also, I don't think THEY is ambigous. It should be referring to guests only as the subject is guest and they had the feasts so logically the subject of next IC should be guest.
Experts - pease suggest.

Query 1:
I am not very clear about this query. For the very reason that the time marker is there ( depicting an event in past, i.e. "broke"), past perfect (had had) is required to depict a further past event. It may be useful to remember that whenever you see the phrase "By X" where X is a time reference in past, either by a clause or simple by a point of time, you have to use past perfect for the earlier event.

By 1999, I had completed writing ten books.... correct.
By the time you started writing, I had already completed writing ten books.... correct.

Query 2:
You are absolutely right. If a pronoun that is the subject of a clause has two possible antecedents, one of which is the subject of another clause within the sentence, the pronoun would, by virtue of parallelism, unambiguously refer to the subject antecedent. Thus "they" refers to "guests" without ambiguity.
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11 Feb 2017, 12:21
I shortlisted my options between A and D, then I selected A since I thought that THEY unambiguously refers to the guests.
If that is true, then OA should be revised.
Please guide.. I am not able to judge whether the pronoun is ambiguous.
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13 Feb 2017, 08:16
startjumprun wrote:
I shortlisted my options between A and D, then I selected A since I thought that THEY unambiguously refers to the guests.
If that is true, then OA should be revised.
Please guide.. I am not able to judge whether the pronoun is ambiguous.

This topic has already been discussed. "They" is alright in option A. A and D are both correct. There seems to have been an oversight by the question writer.
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20 Nov 2018, 20:03
(D) had had plenty of time to glut themselves at the feast by the time the rebels broke into the castle, and thus the guests

D is correct answer here .
and thus the guests is required not they
In timeline , when you are describing an past event rebels broke into castle and thus teh guests , this usage doesnt require any tense timeline
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20 Nov 2018, 22:35
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For those who are new to GMAT and are wondering, what is 'had had' doing in this sentence, read this.
Rule:
Whenever there are 2 scenarios happening in the past, the scenario that happened first should be represented by a 'had'.
Here the 2 scenarios are- 1) action of gluttony and 2) rebels breaking into the castle

Hence in 'had had'- the 1st 'had' is for the tense indication and the 2nd 'had' is to indicate the consumption by the guests.
Hence the usage is absolutely legit.

Hope it helps!!

Experts can validate...
Kudos if it helps
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25 Nov 2019, 04:02
daagh wrote:
A, B and E can be dumped for the simple reason that 'they' has an ambiguous reference to either the guests or rebels.
Between C and D: by the time in effect means before. Therefore, the feasting was an earlier event while breaking in was a later event. As such, use of past perfect 'had had' for the guests and simple past 'broke' for the rebels is correct in D. C, in fact, reverses the order of the tense usage.

But,I have seen in GMAT Ninja's several comment that, the subject of 2nd clause unambiguously refer the subject of first clause. So how 'they' is ambiguous here? Isn’t it unambiguously referring the subject of the first clause, the guests???

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