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While for years several scientists attempted but could not

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While for years several scientists attempted but could not [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2017, 11:56
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Question Stats:

52% (00:48) correct 48% (00:53) wrong based on 231 sessions

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While for years several scientists attempted but could not prove that so-called Planet X was a tenth planet in our solar system, later scientists convincingly disproved the possibility.

(A) attempted but could not
(B) attempted but were unable
(C) attempted to prove but could not
(D) having attempted to prove, could not
(E) attempted to but could not
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: While for years several scientists attempted but could not [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2017, 19:46
Please give further explanation
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While for years several scientists attempted but could not [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2017, 01:50
While for years several scientists attempted but could not prove that so-called Planet X was a tenth planet in our solar system, later scientists convincingly disproved the possibility.

(A) attempted but could not =>attempt what? the meaning is not clear enough.
(B) attempted but were unable => were unable should have "to" to make correct idiom.
(C) attempted to prove but could not => "prove" will be repeated twice in this sentence => wordy
(D) having attempted to prove, could not => if we use "having attempted" the whole sentence will become While for years several scientists having attempted to prove, could not prove that so-called Planet X was a tenth planet in our solar system, later scientists convincingly disproved the possibility.
after while + verbing should be a subject.
(E) attempted to but could not => correct
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Re: While for years several scientists attempted but could not [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2017, 11:31
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Imo E

The correct idiom is attempt to X
For example

1 ISRO recently unveiled its PSLV rocket in an attempt to launch heavier satellites .
2 The democrats attempted to win majority in the congress .

I hope it is clear .
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Re: While for years several scientists attempted but could not [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 07:30
sm14434 wrote:
Please give further explanation


Once you eliminate the part "but could not", it can be realised that "to" is required after "attempted" because "X attempted prove" is wrong - the correct construction is "X attempted TO prove". Hence we can eliminate A and B.

D is wrong because a subordinate clause (here the "while" clause) must have a verb - "having attempted" is not a verb, but a present participle.

C and E are both constructionally correct, but the word "prove" need not be repeated - because of concision E is better than C.
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Re: While for years several scientists attempted but could not [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2018, 21:37
hello, experts, I need your help.
Do gmat questions have such parallel issue like that of this question?
"attempted to" and "could not".
Thanks.
Re: While for years several scientists attempted but could not   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2018, 21:37
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While for years several scientists attempted but could not

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