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# Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?

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Senior Manager
Joined: 24 Apr 2016
Posts: 333
Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2016, 20:19
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Difficulty:

35% (medium)

Question Stats:

41% (00:38) correct 59% (00:36) wrong based on 113 sessions

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Before John won the Lottery, he was a poor locksmith.

a) won the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.
b) had won the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.
c) won the lottery, he had been a poor locksmith.
d) won the lottery, he were a poor locksmith.
e) wins the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.

There are two events which are being stated in the above sentence

1) John winning the lottery
2 John being a poor locksmith.

In the above sentence it clearly mentions that John was poor before winning the lottery. Hence use of simple past to denote that Jack was a poor locksmith appears to be correct to me. But the correct answer is C. Please let me know where I am going wrong.
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Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 45
Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2016, 21:56
quantumliner wrote:
Before John, won the Lottery, he was a poor locksmith.

a) won the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.
b) had won the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.
c) won the lottery, he had been a poor locksmith.
d) won the lottery, he were a poor locksmith.
e) wins the lottery, he was a poor locksmith.

There are two events which are being stated in the above sentence

1) John winning the lottery
2 John being a poor locksmith.

In the above sentence it clearly mentions that John was poor before winning the lottery. Hence use of simple past to denote that Jack was a poor locksmith appears to be correct to me. But the correct answer is C. Please let me know where I am going wrong.

Hi,

Past Pefect is used when there are two events in the past and the former event should use Past perfect and the latter event should be then a simple past tense.Thats the most commonly tested reasoning in GMAT.
Here in this case Former event was :- John being a poor locksmith ,that is why ..we should use past perfect
latter event :- John won the lottery.

Hope this explains !!
Manager
Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 219
Location: South Africa
GPA: 3.49
WE: Web Development (Insurance)
Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2016, 22:35
1
I'm not sure about the OA :

Manhattan's rule on past perfect states :

1. Past Perfect is used to clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events. The earlier event should somehow have a bearing on the context of the later event.
2. The words "before" and "after" indicate the sequence of events clearly and emphatically enough to make the use of the Past Perfect unnecessary.

Apart from the above there are more other situations mentioned in MGMT guide in which use of past perfect is not required even when two actions have occurred in the past and one before the other.
1. If both the actions are performed by the same subject OR if the time sequence is already obvious then we do not require past perfect.
e.g. Antonio drove to the store and bought some icecream
2. Main clauses linked by AND or BUT do not require the past perfect. The reason is that in such case we are not emphasizing the order or time sequence here.
e.g. Antonio drove to the store and Cristina bought some icecream

Using past perfect requires us to add extra words. So when unnecessary we don't use past perfect. Grammatically it is not incorrect, but GMAT also tests concision.
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Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2016, 01:24
arirux92, So are you saying that Option "a" is the correct answer in this case?
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Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2016, 01:30
I believe so. But this is a very debatable topic and I doubt you will have to make this choice in the actual gmat where no other thing is different bw options.
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Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2016, 12:39
Please find here what Mike has to say -

usage-of-pastperfect-212322.html#p1635028

From MGMAT

clarification-between-aristotle-prep-and-mgmat-sc-in-tense-126678.html#p1036036

From Veritas

clarification-between-aristotle-prep-and-mgmat-sc-in-tense-126678.html#p1036612

Hope this helps...

PS : More discussion on the topic needed , experts please guide..
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Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2018, 08:07
As per my understanding, in sentences which have words such as "before" or "after" that clarify the sequencing of the events, the earlier event could take simple past or past perfect and the later event will take simple past.
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Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense?  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2018, 08:15
1
aartiydv09 wrote:
As per my understanding, in sentences which have words such as "before" or "after" that clarify the sequencing of the events, the earlier event could take simple past or past perfect and the later event will take simple past.

When the sequence is clear because of the use of "before", then past perfect should NOT be used. Thus, C is wrong. A is the only correct option here - changed OA.
Re: Use Simple Past or Past Perfect Tense? &nbs [#permalink] 10 Jan 2018, 08:15
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