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I came across this question on a sample TOEIC test. The answer is "(A) having" and I have no idea why this is correct.

Maria Vásquez has a wide range of experience, ------- worked in technical, production, and marketing positions.

(A) having (B) has (C) having had (D) had

I thought "(B) has", as "she has worked in technical, production, and marketing positions." was a correct sentence.

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Here the phrase "having worked in technical, production, and marketing positions" is a past perfect participle, which acts like an adjective modifying "Maria Vasquez". Please see the linked article for more information on participles.

Other examples:

Having improved her English, Pia also improved her chances of being promoted.

Having been his own boss for such a long time, he found it hard to accept orders from another.

You can swap the participle with the main part of the sentence without changing the meaning:

He found it hard to accept orders from another, having been his own boss for such a long time.

(B) would be correct if the sentence was joined by a conjunction like "and":

Halley has been a personal trainer for many years, and has studied such techniques as hypnotic motivation and performance visualization to help her clients achieve maximum results.

  • Why not (C) [having had]? – dan Sep 29 '17 at 7:07
  • @dan The verb would be "having had worked". You can say "having had" ("Having had a bad morning, Stuart grew even more upset when he dropped his lunch all over his new suit.") or "having worked", but not all three. – Andrew Sep 29 '17 at 13:56
  • @dan this is actually pretty tricky grammar. If I didn't know what sounded right, I would probably have to eliminate the answer choices that sounded wrong. (B) would be correct, if the sentence was joined by a conjunction like "and". – Andrew Sep 29 '17 at 14:01
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"Has" and "had" are finite forms.  They create clauses.  They demand subjects.  There is no available subject for them in the model sentence.  To use them, you'd need to add something that the test question doesn't allow you to add:

Maria Vásquez has a wide range of experience.  She has worked in technical, production, and marketing positions.

    or

Maria Vásquez has a wide range of experience and has worked in technical, production, and marketing positions.

 

"Having" is a non-finite form.  It doesn't need a subject.  It fits.

 

"Having had" starts with the same non-finite form.  However, it includes an additional non-finite form, one that conflicts with the non-finite form present in the model.  To make this option fit, we'd need to remove something that the test question doesn't allow us to take away:

Maria Vásquez has a wide range of experience, having had worked in technical, production, and marketing positions.

 

There is only one provided option that fits the provided blank.

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