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I know the rules and differences like simple past is finished actions and more like story telling while present-perfect emphasizes the experience and its about actions that still continue and past-perfect is about actions finished before the past actions and such but when it comes to questions like in the picture I really cant decide which to use.Is there a more precise way or trick to determine which to use ?

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    A and D (and possibly even B) are possible answers here, depending on the time-frame existing in the writing. The examiners want A. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 11 at 11:59
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    What @EdwinAshworth said. I honestly don't see the point of multiple-choice questions like this, where more than one of the choices is syntactically valid (sometimes I wonder if the test setters know that! :) – FumbleFingers Jun 11 at 12:42
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    Why do the suggested answers always contain two words in the same tense? Do the people who set the test subscribe to the incorrect belief that you can't use two different tenses in the same sentence? It seems to me that had begun / was or began / would be are actually the most logical way to fill in the blanks. – Peter Shor Jun 11 at 13:31
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The option C is not correct because it's present perfect tense but in the sentence it's talk about the past.

For the option B we can not use past perfect tense for both sentences. To use past perfect there should be an action was completed (finished or "perfected") at some point in the past before something else happened.

The answer is A because Bessie Smith began to her career in the 1910s. It happened before now. Also,she was famous/ well known and she finished her career in the past.We know the period of the time.

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