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# The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a

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The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2009, 11:21
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The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

(A) that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding

(B) that the universe had begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and had been expanding

(C) that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that has expanded

(D) the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding

(E) the universe to have begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by hazelnut on 04 Oct 2017, 20:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2009, 11:54
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nookway wrote:
Source: GMATPrep Test 1
I would recommend not to attempt this if you have not taken the GMAT Prep Test 1 as familiarity with the questions may inflate your score when you actually take the test.

The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.
A. that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding
B. that the universe had begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and had been expanding
C. that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that has expanded
D. the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding
E. the universe to have begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding

Please do not respond by just saying the answer is __. Please try to provide a reason why a given choice is correct or incorrect.

I choose A as my answer. We need to know our tenses really well in order to answer this question. We need to know the exact use of the present perfect, past perfect, and even simple past. Also, you need to know that "subject + to be verb + noun or adjective" is the correct usage.

a) correct ---> the universe began in the past, so using the simple past, "began" is perfectly fine. "has been expanding" means that the expanding started in the past and is still expanding today. That is what the present perfect progressive does to the logic of the sentence.

b) wrong ---> to use the past perfect tense correctly, you will need to use it once, but then the second verb must be simple past. You need to do so to show that the verb in past perfect tense started and was completed before the simple past verb. In this option, both the verbs are in past perfect, which is wrong.

c) it suggests that the beggining of the universe was an explosive instant....this is wrong. I'll explain why: All the linking verbs or "to be" verbs should be treated as an equal sign. For example:

1) The pen is a bargain because it is only ten cents ---> this is wrong because it suggests that "pen = ten cents." The corrected sentence would say:

2) The pen is a bragain because it worths only ten cents ---> this is more logical.

Another way to use the "to be" verb is to connect the noun to an adjective or to a noun. For example:

3) Tom is a student or Jessica is beautiful

So that's why opton C is wrong.

d) the big bang theory holds the beginning of the universe? How can only a theory hold such a serious mass as the universe??? Also, "10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding"??? how can 10 to 20 billion years ago expand?? it's illogical

e) Because we don't have "that" at the beginning of the sentence, it sounds as though the theory is currently holding the universe. I would respond with a "wow" to a statement like that! loool....

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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14 May 2011, 22:28
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Quote:
vbr365 wrote

I agree that A is the right answer. The question remains in my mind is related to usage of the conjunction 'and', which joins two grammatically equal parts. In the question, the first part is in past tense and 2nd is in present perfect, is this acceptable? appreciate any help to clarity my doubt. Thanks.

Using two different tenses in two different clauses joined by a coordinate conjunction is perfectly grammatical. //ism of tense is decided by the timing of the event rather than by obedience to using the same tense.

For example: The U.S became independent on July 4, 1776 and continues to be so. Here will you use ‘continued to be so’ instead of ‘continues to be so’ to stick to past tense? We use present tense in the second arm because it is a fact even today and not a thing of the past.

A is indeed within norms and acceptable.
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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16 Sep 2012, 10:45
nookway wrote:
The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.
A. that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding
B. that the universe had begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and had been expanding
C. that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that has expanded
D. the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding
E. the universe to have begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding

Please do not respond by just saying the answer is __. Please try to provide a reason why a given choice is correct or incorrect.

Holds That is idiomatically correct expression so d & e are out.
A correctly says an event start in the past and is still continuing by using present perfect tense.
Choice B unnecessarily uses past perfect tense as the process of expansion is still on.
Choice C awkwardly says that the explosive instant has expanded & not the universe (Misplaced Modifier)

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 05:04
The widely accepted big bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

(A) that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding

(B) that the universe had begun in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and had been expanding

(C) that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago that has expanded

(D) the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years agothat is expanding

(E) the universe to have begun in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding

The above (Opt A) is correct. 2 of the wrong options used the relative pronoun "that":
"... that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant 10-20 billion years ago that has expanded"
"...the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding"
In the first wrong choice above, the OG says that describes "instant" (which is illogical) but in the second, the OG says "that" refers to "beginning". Why does "that" refer to different things and when how can we tell to what it is referring? (I have tons of problems with "that"!)

Thanks!

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 05:50
carcass wrote:

Thanks

Hi!

Thanks for your message. I did read the rules before but am not too clear which specific one you are referring to? Pls do clarify which of the 9 points I have infringed so I can make sure I don't do it again Thanks!

1. Use the Search Box Before Posting.
I have done so and found the same OG question several times. however, the ones I referenced were asking about a different component of the question, and some are pretty outdated, so I thought it would make more sense for everyone to start a new thread.

2. Choose the Right Forum.
Sc --> SC

3. Give a Topic Name (IMPORTANT).
I have done so, including the OG ref.

4. Post Only one Question per Topic.
Yup, one.

5. Do not Change the Question.
Whilst I did not type in the entire question, I did not change the relevant (to my question) parts.

6. TYPE the Question in as Text.
Done

7. Indicate the OA (Official Answer)
Indicated

Tagged

9. Avoid Short/Useless Posts (they will be deleted) and use the Kudos Button Instead.
NA

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 09:39
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The widely accepted big bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

(A) that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding
"That" is appropriate. "Began" and "has been" are the correct tense in parallelism. Contender

(B) that the universe had begun in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and had been expanding
"That" is appropriate. "had been expanding" changes meaning. It means to say that it is no longer expanding. Eliminate

(C) that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago that has expanded
"That the beginning" is OK. but the "was an explosive instant.." seems to modify universe and not the beginning. Eliminate.

(D) the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years agothat is expanding
"That" is missing for "the beginning". "Billion years ago that..." seems to be modified by "is expanding". Eliminate

(E) the universe to have begun in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding
"That" is missing for "the universe". Wrong parallelism. "to have begun" Vs "Has been expanding". Eliminate

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2013, 07:49
tcsing wrote:
The widely accepted big bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

(A) that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding

(B) that the universe had begun in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and had been expanding

(C) that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago that has expanded

(D) the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years agothat is expanding

(E) the universe to have begun in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding

The above (Opt A) is correct. 2 of the wrong options used the relative pronoun "that":
"... that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant 10-20 billion years ago that has expanded"
"...the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding"
In the first wrong choice above, the OG says that describes "instant" (which is illogical) but in the second, the OG says "that" refers to "beginning". Why does "that" refer to different things and when how can we tell to what it is referring? (I have tons of problems with "that"!)

Thanks!

(A) that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding

I have doubt regarding the construction of option A.
We know that Clause cannot be parallel to Phrase
When we check Option A.
Clause: the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago
Phrase: has been expanding
Even if we add last part "ever since "to the phrase it wont become a clause....So pls explain how can option A be the correct answer.....

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2013, 01:15
Hi Waterflowsup,

No - A is fine for parallelism

The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

What it is not, is consistent in TENSE. But that is OK, because as others have pointed out above is that the 'explosive instant' was a singluar event in the past, and so can have the simple past, whearas 'expanding' is a continuous process, so you can use 'has been' to suggest this.

Does that make sense, or do you see another issue that we've missed?

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2013, 03:23
Hi -

First one correct.

Second one is technically the past perfect progressive (the progressive suggests that it's still going on)

However - GMAT Pill general rule here: You can spend way too much time worrying about all the names of the tenses. First question you need to work out is the meaning of everything. If you can do this then tenses in GMAT start to become a lot easier.
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2013, 03:36
Sir,

Could you please rephrase your reply, I got confused. I am still in a learning phase so taking everything over here very seriously.

Regards
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2013, 08:48
Hi,

Sure I will try again.

Began is past tense Yes correct.

has been expanding is present perfect No Incorrect. It is past perfect progressive. This is because the event is still going on. I.e. the Universe is still expanding.

My key point is my last one though: I would not worry overly about the NAME of different tenses. More important is the meaning of the sentence, if you understand that then the tenses should be way more logical.

This is obviously harder if you are a non-native, but the time invested to get your English to a higher standard so the meaning becomes clear will have big benefit come test day.

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2013, 04:04
nookway wrote:
The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.
A. that the universe began in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding
B. that the universe had begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and had been expanding
C. that the beginning of the universe was an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that has expanded
D. the beginning of the universe to have been an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago that is expanding
E. the universe to have begun in an explosive instant 10 to 20 billion years ago and has been expanding

Please do not respond by just saying the answer is __. Please try to provide a reason why a given choice is correct or incorrect.

It is possible that "holds the universe to have begin" is correct in E

the problem with E is that "has been " is parrallel with "hold" . This thing is not logic

one again, we see that gmat test us logic not grammar rules. we do not need to remember rarely used rules.
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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08 Sep 2013, 21:45
Holds that ....

The theory must HOLD an IDEA and not something(Noun)

So theory cannot hold the complex gerund 'the beginning of the Universe' or 'the universe'

So D and E out.

'Holds that' should follow a concrete idea.

'beginning of universe was an' is wordier than the one already present in the original 'universe began'.

C out.

'had begun and had been expanding are present when there is no later (PAST) event'. Note 'accepted theory' here accepted is an adjective and not the verb.

B is out

Hence (A)
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2013, 04:53
Hi, This is an OG question-

The widely accepted big bang theory holds that the universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

My analysis:

The above sentence sounds correct, however I am trying to answer the parallelism requirement in my mind.

big bang theory holds that
the universe began in an explosive instant AND
(the universe) has been expanding ever since.
For idiom X and Y, X and Y need not be parallel to each other? If No, Can 2 parallel constructions be in 2 different tenses? (began & has been expanding, in this case)

What am I missing in this analysis? I look forward to your response.

Thanks!

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2013, 14:12
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In general you do not need both parts of the parallelism to be of the same tense. It is enough that both parts are actually conjugated verbs.

In this case, the universe is the subject to both conjugated verbs. You do not need to repeat the subject. You broke it down just fine.
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2013, 09:01
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Hi Sreeram,

Thanks for posting your query here.

It is absolutely okay for parallel verbs to be in different tenses. The only thing that matters is that the subject of both the verbs should be the same.

Remember that verb tenses show the time at which the action took place. It is possible that the same subject performs two actions that take place at different times. For example: Mary finished her finals yesterday and is graduating next week.

I hope this helps!

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2013, 22:50
The widely accepted big bang theory holds that the
universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty
billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

In the e- gmat application file -1, a similar question is asked. and it is told that if "since" is there in the sentence ,"past/present perfect" is correct choice. However, in the question above , the present perfect continuous tense is used. I do understand that meaning of sentence intends a continuous action, however, "ever since" also tells us that action is started in past and continues in present. this is perfect case for present perfect tense. then why presnt perfect is not correct answer choice.
Also clarify whether the present perfect as well as present perfect continious are both right forms of tense that should be used in sentence like the one above.

Last edited by abhijitmoholakar on 30 Nov 2013, 18:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2013, 13:39
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abhijitmoholakar wrote:
The widely accepted big bang theory holds that the
universe began in an explosive instant ten to twenty
billion years ago and has been expanding ever since.

In the e- gmat application file -1, a similar question is asked. and it is told that if "since" is there in the sentence ,"past/present perfect" is correct choice. However, in the question above , the present perfect continuous tense is used. I do understand that meaning of sentence intends a continuous action, however, "ever since" also tells us that action is started in past and continues in present. this is perfect case for past perfect tense. then why past perfect is not in correct answer choice.
Also clarify whether the present perfect as well as present perfect continious are both right forms of tense that should be used in sentence like the one above.

When an action starts in the past and continues until now, it is definitely not a proper context to use the past perfect tense. The past perfect tense is used when an action happens before another action in the past. For example:
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2013, 22:11
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From what I understand the present perfect tense cannot be used to refer to an action that started in the past and 'continues' into the present. We must use the present perfect continuous tense in such cases. The present perfect, AFAIK, refers to completed actions that were completed at an unspecific time in the past. If the time is specified then we need to go with the simple past tense.
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Re: The widely accepted big-bang theory holds that the universe began in a   [#permalink] 30 Nov 2013, 22:11

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