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Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century

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Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood.

a) many scientists had believed that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood
b) many scientists believed that phlogiston was an imaginary substance released by combustion and its properties were not fully understood
c) phlogiston was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood and which many scientists had believed was released by combustion
d) phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood, was believed by scientists to be released by combustion
e) many scientists had believed that phlogiston was released by combustion and was an imaginary substance whose properties were not fully understood

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flamingo
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In this question we are dealing with two actions that happened in the past. So, we need a past perfect tense to deal with this situation. 
The option B & D are out for their usage of simple past. 
The construction of the sentence seems to be awkward. 
Now we are left with A & E. The construction of A seems correct. 
X had believed that combustion released phlogiston, Imaginary substance..(Appositive which modifies Ph)

in the case of option E,  X had believed that Ph was released by combustion and ph was imaginary substance.

This is wrong. these two statements are contradicting each other. If they belive " Ph" relased, that means that they exists right,
 they are not "imaginary substances any more".. so E is out.

answered Mar 26, 2015 by Guru (5,599 points)
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