concerns between...

Concerns about public health led to the construction between 1876 and 1904 of three
separate sewer systems to serve metropolitan Boston.

A. Concerns about public health led to the construction between 1876 and 1904 of
three separate sewer systems to serve
B. Concerns about public health have led to the construction of three separate sewer
systems between 1876 and 1904 to serve
C. Concerns about public health have led between 1876 and 1904 to the construction
of three separate sewer systems for serving
D. There were concerns about public health leading to the construction between 1876
and 1904 of three separate sewer systems serving
E. There were concerns leading between 1876 and 1904 to the construction of three
separate sewer systems for serving

Which option conveys the complete meaning most clearly and concisely?

Kindly explain with explanations!

Is this a homework or test question? Do you want to make you way through the choices yourself first and say what sounds wrong about any of them?

What have you learned about the present perfect being used for specific points of time in the past, for example? Can you rule out any of the answers based on that?

i’d vote for B.

I wouldn’t. :wink:
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i didn’t notice that “to serve” at the end of the sentence. if it wasn’t for that, wouldn’t you agree that that is the best option?
thanks.

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The use of the present perfect (have led) is not appropriate in the sentence.
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I tried to say as much, Amy, without being too obvious about it.

I think we are meant to add “metropolitan Boston” at the end of each example.

Best wishes,

MrP

hello Amy,
why the usage of ‘‘have led’’ is not correct? I’ve found hundreds of entries for it on CAE. how should it be phrased, please?
thanks.

The problem is that you do not use the present perfect when referring to a specific time in the past.

You need the simple past for this construction, not the present perfect.

By the time I noticed that, Barb, I had already posted a response to exactly the same question here:
english-test.net/forum/ftopi … html#96312

Hi jctgf

I’m not sure what sort of examples you were looking at, but the sentence here refers to specific events that took place at a specifically stated time in the past – more than a hundred years ago. The simple past tense (led) is appropriate.
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Ha. Beat you to the punch by at least five seconds!

hi Amy,
I see now… the #1 rule when employing the present perfect!
do you think sentence B could be accepted during an informal conversation? do you think that in an informal talk people have “licence” to make some mistakes?
thanks.

Hi jctgf

As I see it, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind here:

  • The sentence itself is not intended to be representative of casual conversation.
  • What techsavvy posted is apparently part of a standardized test or a practice test, and therefore the goal should be to identify the most appropriate standard usage.

That said, I have to say that the use of the present perfect (have led) in that sentence would sound just plain weird and wrong to me anyway – rules or no rules. It is not something I would expect to hear from a native speaker of English. The context is the distant past, and not only that, but the time is also specifically stated.

If I heard someone utter that sentence with “have led” and without any mention of the time frame, then I would assume the reference was to the very recent past. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to say with complete certainty whether the construction was still in progress or finished.

In informal conversation, people have slip-ups on a regular basis. However, a failure to make the distinction between a very distant specific past event and a very recent one which might possibly still be ongoing (in essence the difference would be between past and present) is not really the sort of spoken error I would expect a native speaker to make – unless, of course, his name happens to be George Bush. His verbal bloopers and blunders never cease to amaze me. :lol:
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thanks.