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  1. Volcano1985's Avatar
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    #1

    The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat --- one of the most dangerous creatures ever --- in the world.


    A) is / having lived

    B) was / to have lived

    C) had been / to live

    D) would be / to be living

    E) has been / living


    I think A


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    #2

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Volcano1985 View Post
    The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat --- one of the most dangerous creatures ever --- in the world.


    A) is / having lived

    B) was / to have lived

    C) had been / to live

    D) would be / to be living

    E) has been / living


    I think A
    The problem with A is that the animal is extinct, so using "it IS" doesn't really work.

    It wasn't more dangerous that humans, anyway. Human hunting has been blamed for making them extinct.
    http://www.fossils-rocks-minerals.co...xtinction.html


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    #3

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat --- one of the most dangerous creatures ever --- in the world.


    A) is / having lived

    B) was / to have lived

    C) had been / to live

    D) would be / to be living

    E) has been / living
    Of course, answers C, D, and E are nonsense, and can be dismissed out of hand. Only A and B need be considered.

    I would say B is acceptable. No life-threatening issues there.

    Ann is right about A in the sense that it seems odd to use is for an animal that has been extinct for heaven-only-knows how many millions of years. But let's take a second look at A.

    It is not always absolutely necessary to use the past tense in reference to someone or something that no longer exists. It may depend on the nature of what you say. For example:

    My grandmother is alive in my memory.


    She died when I was a kid, but this is a true fact as I write this. Now, I know this is not exactly the same thing, but I'm just using it to illustrate my point: just because my grandmother is long gone doesn't automatically force me to use past tense in every sentence I say about her. In the same sense, the fact that sabre-toothed tigers (cats) went extinct millions of years ago doesn't preclude the possibility of making a true statement about them using present tense. For example, here is a sentence I took from website about dinosaurs:

    The oldest known dinosaur is Eoraptor, a meat-eater from about 228 million years ago.

    Now, I have no idea what an Eoraptor is, and honestly I don't care. But apparently it's been extinct for a really long time, and apparently it's a true fact that it's the oldest known dinosaur. OK, maybe the sentence wasn't written by Ernest Hemingway; but present tense seems to make good sense here based on the nature of what is said about the subject.

    In the given sentence, let's look at answer A:

    The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat is one of the most dangerous creatures ever having lived in the world.


    I don't like this sentence; I think it's awkward. It also sounds stupid to me to add the phrase "in the world." (So, I guess we can eliminate those ferocious Martian-eating creatures that once prowled the Red Planet—thanks for clearing that up.) However, I think the sentence does two things that helps make the use of the present tense at least palatable. First, it makes it clear that the sabre-tooth tiger is in fact extinct, so there's no ambiguity there. Second, it uses the perfect aspect in the subject complement, thus making it easier to regard the statement as being currently true.

    Understand that I'm not arguing in favor of A; I'm just playing devil's advocate for it. I agree with the original poster that there is a case to be made for A; I'm of the opinion that A can't be dismissed without further consideration simply because it uses present tense.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Greg
    Last edited by dragn; 12-Oct-2009 at 04:08.


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    #4

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post

    The oldest known dinosaur is Eoraptor, a meat-eater from about 228 million years ago.
    Understand that I'm not arguing in favor of A; I'm just playing devil's advocate for it. I agree with the original poster that there is a case to be made for A; I'm of the opinion that A can't be dismissed without further consideration simply because it uses present tense.
    Greg, A is flat wrong, and I wanted to give the asker a hint to think again.

    Even if you use "is," the other part has to be "to have lived."

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    Greg, A is flat wrong, and I wanted to give the asker a hint to think again.

    Even if you use "is," the other part has to be "to have lived."
    Yes, I agree A is wrong. The only possible answer is B.

  3. Volcano1985's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    ...one of the most dangerous creatures ever which had lived in the world.

    Is it right?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Volcano1985 View Post
    ...one of the most dangerous creatures ever which had lived in the world.

    Is it right?
    No, "ever" is misplaced "...one of the most dangerous creatures which had ever lived..." could be ok, it depends what comes before.

  5. Volcano1985's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat was one of the most dangerous creatures which had ever lived in the world?


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    #9

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    Ann, sorry I butted into your online lesson. It won't happen again.

    Ann and/or Bhaisahab: If you can give me a detailed explanation of exactly why A absolutely cannot in any way whatsoever be considered acceptable and quote the grammar rule that is being violated, I'll be a happy man. And I'll shut up. I swear.

    Remember: I didn't say it was a good sentence; I just said it couldn't be considered absolutely grammatically wrong.

    Greg

    P.S. Actually, I'll probably shut up anyway. You know how I hate arguing about grammar.




    Last edited by dragn; 12-Oct-2009 at 18:47.


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    #10

    Re: The now-extinct sabre-tooth cat ---

    Quote Originally Posted by dragn View Post
    Ann, sorry I butted into your online lesson. It won't happen again.

    Please don't take that attitude. : (

    One of the benefits the askers get from posting here is a range of opinion.

    I spent some time as an undergrad teaching GRE test-taking techniques. One of the things test-takers can look for is a signal directing them away from the "draw" choice (a pretty good but wrong choice.)

    In this case, that signal was the completely gratuitous use of the word "extinct" -- in contrast to the word "is" in the draw.

    Just on the principles of "How to Ace a Standardized Exam," that is enough to eliminate A -- even if you don't have any opinion at all about the verb. So I wanted to badmouth choice A just out of a reflex.

    But you know, I also didn't want to respond to the asker with a one-letter response ("B"), so I had to kind of avoid giving the asker a straigh-up response.
    -----------------------------

    "That was the greatest circus ever to have performed in my little town."
    - vs -
    "This is the greatest circus ever having performed in my little town."
    Oh, c'mon.

    Last edited by Ann1977; 13-Oct-2009 at 02:22.

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