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V03-29

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V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 02:00
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58% (00:21) correct 42% (00:18) wrong based on 103 sessions

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Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

A. had been
B. has been
C. had been being
D. was being
E. was
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Before the storm destroyed much of the harbor, this town, with its sandy beaches and multiple opportunities for sports, had been one of the most popular resort destinations on the East Coast.

A. had been
B. has been
C. had been being
D. was being
E. was


This sentence requires simple past tense form to indicate the entire period of time before the storm destroyed much of the harbor.
  1. Had been is wordy and unnecessary and creates past perfect tense, when simple past tense is more appropriate.
  2. The word has is incorrect; it indicates that the condition of the town continues to the present.
  3. This option compounds the error of the wordy phrase had been by adding another unnecessary word, being.
  4. Was being is grammatically incorrect; the word being is unnecessary.
  5. The verb was is sufficient to create simple past tense and to give the best meaning to the sentence.

Answer: E
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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 07:59
Is there any motivation which explains why here simple past tense is sufficient and in other situations of anteriority is not?

Thank you!
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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2015, 02:28
Why can't I use the past perfect version (had been) here?

It indicates that it was a former nice harbour with nice beaches and so on. This leads to an impact on the perception of the harbour. And it was right before the destruction by the storm.

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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2016, 17:18
on the GMAT, you will never see a question that will ask you to choose between past perfect and past simple. on the contrary, the answer choices with past perfect would have other errors, based on which one can eliminate the answers. I do agree that was is more concise, but GMAT, as I said before, will never ask you to pick based on only this difference.
at least I have not seen such a question.

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Re V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2016, 05:21
I think this is a poor-quality question and the explanation isn't clear enough, please elaborate. Why can't I use the past perfect version (had been) here?
it is not wordy.

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Saurav Arora wrote:
I think this is a poor-quality question and the explanation isn't clear enough, please elaborate. Why can't I use the past perfect version (had been) here?
it is not wordy.


Use of past perfect alongwith "before" is redundant.
Example:
Correct: I finished (simple past) my homework before my father came home.
Correct: I had finished (past perfect) my homework when my father came home.

Observe "before" at the beginning of the sentence: the prior incidence therefore should be in simple past, not in past perfect.

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I think this is a high-quality question and I don't agree with the explanation. Hi,

I think its a good question but the explanations doesn't clearly states reason for rejecting the option choice A.

I selected the option choice E over option choice A because past perfect is used to describe the sequencing of the two related events. Here two events that are completed in the past
First one : This town was one of the popular resort destinations on the east coast.
Second one : The storm destroyed much of the harbor.

Since the above two events are independent usage of past perfect is not required. Sequencing of the two events is clearly described by the use of marker before.

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New post 14 Jul 2016, 05:24
I think its a good question but the explanations doesn't clearly states reason for rejecting the option choice A.

I selected the option choice E over option choice A because past perfect is used to describe the sequencing of the two related events. Here two events that are completed in the past
First one : This town was one of the popular resort destinations on the east coast.
Second one : The storm destroyed much of the harbor.

Since the above two events are independent usage of past perfect is not required. Sequencing of the two events is clearly described by the use of marker before.

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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2016, 00:09
The sentence should have used "had been" and not "was" because the resort had been popular since its beginning and remained popular until the storm arrived.

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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2016, 03:41
presence of the word "before" makes use of past perfect tense optional.
but using past perfect does not make it a wrong ans choice.
I have seen the same scenario in few question earlier and the one with the past perfect ans was the correct choice.

Is my understanding correct? Experts please help.

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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2016, 13:15
monish447 wrote:
presence of the word "before" makes use of past perfect tense optional.
but using past perfect does not make it a wrong ans choice.
I have seen the same scenario in few question earlier and the one with the past perfect ans was the correct choice.

Is my understanding correct? Experts please help.


Some GMAT trainers insist that presence of "before" makes the use of past perfect redundant (not optional) - however even considering your point valid, the simple past would be better than past perfect because of concision.

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Re: V03-29 [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2017, 11:27
sayantanc2k wrote:
Saurav Arora wrote:
I think this is a poor-quality question and the explanation isn't clear enough, please elaborate. Why can't I use the past perfect version (had been) here?
it is not wordy.


Use of past perfect alongwith "before" is redundant.
Example:
Correct: I finished (simple past) my homework before my father came home.
Correct: I had finished (past perfect) my homework when my father came home.

Observe "before" at the beginning of the sentence: the prior incidence therefore should be in simple past, not in past perfect.


Hats off to sayantanc2k for this explanation!! Absolutely correct!! I think even I had read it somewhere (maybe MGMAT) that when there are two events, we need some kind of a time marker to denote which event occurred first. Past Perfect is one such marker, not the only marker. If the sentence has any other time marker, then we do not need to stick to the Past Perfect thumb-rule. In this example, "before" is a time marker than clearly indicates which event occurred first. So another time marker "had been" will be redundant. , Although I agree with mvictor that GMAT will never ask a question as direct as this one, but this is really a high-quality question for practice purpose.

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Re: V03-29   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2017, 11:27
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