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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,

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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2016, 21:58
1
6
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A
B
C
D
E

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Question Stats:

80% (01:21) correct 20% (01:37) wrong based on 97 sessions

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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet


MY APPROACH

whereas ..... represents "contrast" better than but..



PARALLELISM issues here too

but i think meaning wise.... A makes it appear that the brakes are over 1500 feet in length... THEY has no antecedent.. no noun given previously that THEY can logicaly refer too..

C 'hand brakers' ??? also after whereas simple past tense is being used.. not parallel with the "had been" present perfect tense used in the eariler cause..

D. " they" has no antecedent... hand brakers... how can they be over 1500 ft??

E. hand brakers ( whatever they are) .. cannot be over 1500 feet.. (they can be positioned at points covering a distance of 1500 feet..)

B had been in the first clause... parallel to had been in the second cause.. past perfect - past perfect..
OPERATING over a distance gives clear meaning...


KINDLY HIGHLIGHT WHATEVER I MIGHT HAVE MISSED.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2016, 01:12
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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet

I like to compare the differences and here I see whereas vs. but. I’m not very secure about the rule for each, so I’m going to look at something else.

  • What jumps out is the use of the pronoun, “they.” 2-2-1 split with “they required” vs. “stopping the train” and B says, “5 hand brakes.”
  • With the use of the word “whereas,” there needs to be some form of contrast/comparison. We need to compare hand brakes to hand brakes. B is the only one that does this.
  • This is a good illustration on why not to go for style first. Many students would eliminate had been required to stop because it’s passive, but grammar trumps style.
  • For sake of the full illustration, “they required” : who is they? Hand brake is not a “they” Elminate A and D.
  • Stopping the train with hand brakers. Hand brakers is not the right comparison to hand brake. Eliminate C and E.

B
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2016, 00:34
see the non -underlined portion first... and check the bold part i highlighted

The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887

the above verb tense(bold) means that this technique is not used now.it was used but not now

the second part of the sentence which is underlined gives us an info about a technique which was previously used as compared to the non underlined first part of the sentence .
So this infers , had been is req again for underlined portion. coz this technique was used way way before.

only B shows this contrast with proper meaning.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 04:41
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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, had been developed to such an extent by 1887 that a train of 50 freight cars travelling at 20 miles per hour could be brought to a standstill in the space of 171 feet, whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped.

A whereas before they required 5 hand brakes over a distance of 1,500 feet for such a train to be stopped

B whereas previously 5 hand brakes operating over a distance of 1,500 feet had been required to stop such a train

C but before stopping the train required 5 hand brakers operating over a distance of 1,500 feet

D but previously they required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet stopping the train

E but before stopping such a train required 5 hand brakers over a distance of 1,500 feet



There seems to be some problem with the question, probably in the transcription. The use of the word 'hand brakers' is jarring. There is no such word as 'hand brakers.' It should be only handbrakes. Notwithstanding that,

If in the hall, if you find it too hard to decipher the difference between 'whereas' and 'but,' try this shorter method


A, and D are merely gone since there is no referent to the plural 'they.'

C and E are gone as they are using simple past tense for the earlier event that happened before 1887. Of course, we may console ourselves that the word 'before' has been used to mark the timeline, but in that case, the question remains as to why a past perfect ' had been developed' used even with a following timeline of the year 1887.

Therefore, B is crisp and clear.
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Re: The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868, &nbs [#permalink] 12 Sep 2018, 04:41
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The Westinghouse air brake, first demonstrated successfully in 1868,

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