This is the question:

Medicinal chemists know their latest compound _____ seriously as a drug lead until it _____ its punch in animal models.

A) wasn't taken / proves
B) won't be taken / has proven
C) weren’t taken / would be proven
D) won't take / proves
E) weren't taken / had proved

The answer is "B" but the second part of the answer doesn't make sense. I think it should be "proves" instead of "has proven". Is that right?

  • 1
    That's is the trouble with these dumbed-down multiple choice language questions. There's nothing wrong with won't be taken + proves, which would at least get round any problem deciding between has proved and has proven (both of which are acceptable to me, and have many hits in Google Books as per those links). Jul 31 '19 at 17:52
  • 1
    ...even more irritating, a check against the Google NGrams AmE corpus shows that has proved its worth is now more common than has proven its worth (which sounds more than a little "quaint" to me as a Brit today). These test setters really should try to keep up! Jul 31 '19 at 17:57
  • @FumbleFingers I think the tenses are not correct together if the answer is "B".
    – S.H.W
    Jul 31 '19 at 17:59
  • 1
    @S.H.W No, "has proven" is fine, although I also think "proves" is better. Have you ever seen the structure, "once [something] has [something]ed"? It's not uncommon.
    – Andrew
    Jul 31 '19 at 18:02
  • @Andrew Can you provide other examples from reliable sources for this usage of present perfect tense?
    – S.H.W
    Jul 31 '19 at 18:08

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