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India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than had been thought, initial results from a major new study suggest.
The Wildlife Institute of India census showed tiger numbers falling in some states by two-thirds in five years. A final report is due out in December.
India's last major survey in 2002 put tiger numbers at 3,500. That was far too optimistic, say conservationists.
They blame poaching and urbanisation for the decline and say the authorities must do more before time runs out.
A century ago India was believed to have tens of thousands of tigers.
'Depressing'
The new survey, conducted over two years, was the most ambitious ever undertaken to try to stem the decline in the population of India's tigers.
It found the largest decline in the tiger population to be in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the number of big cats has gone down from 710 to 255 in the past five years.

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1.India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than in Africa. [ Just an indicative sentence or rather a sentence to compare Indian tigers and African tigers.]

2. He said he had been to India. [ This is indirect speech.]
3. He said, '' he has been to India''. [ This is direct speech.]
My question is on the first sentence of the above article.
India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than had been thought, initial results from a major new study suggest.

The words 'had been thought' look like it is a past perfect sentence; however, it doesn't qualify to be a past perfect tense. You should push one action before the other to make a past perfect sentence. What is the grammatical nature of the sentence in question?
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Hi,

India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than had been thought, initial results from a major new study suggest.

The Wildlife Institute of India census showed tiger numbers falling in some states by two-thirds in five years. A final report is due out in December.

India's last major survey in 2002 put tiger numbers at 3,500. That was far too optimistic, say conservationists.

They blame poaching and urbanisation for the decline and say the authorities must do more before time runs out.

A century ago India was believed to have tens of thousands of tigers.

'Depressing'

The new survey, conducted over two years, was the most ambitious ever undertaken to try to stem the decline in the population of India's tigers.

It found the largest decline in the tiger population to be in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the number of big cats has gone down from 710 to 255 in the past five years.


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1.India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than in Africa. [ Just an indicative sentence or rather a sentence to compare Indian tigers and African tigers.]

This is not correct. It suggests that India has some tigers living in Africa. ie India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than (India has living) in Africa.

It should be India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than Africa.


2. He said he had been to India. [ This is indirect speech.]

3. He said, ''He has been to India''. [ This is direct speech.] Yes, but I suspect the writer was trying to say He said, ''I have been to India''.

My question is on the first sentence of the above article.

India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than had been thought, initial results from a major new study suggest.

The words 'had been thought' look like it is a past perfect sentence; however, it doesn't qualify to be a past perfect tense. You should push one action before the other to make a past perfect sentence. The Past Perfect is used to show that the 'thinking' action preceded the publication of the initial study results. ie People thought that before the results became available, but not after that.

What is the grammatical nature of the sentence in question? A more conventional organization of this sentence would be


Initial results from a major new study suggest (that) India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than had been thought.

The clause order in the original is just a bit more uncommon. It's the kind of clause order that newspaper headline writers like to use. It gives more prominence to the new fact than to its source.

Best wishes, Clive
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India has far fewer tigers living in the wild than had been thought before a new report was issued recently, initial results from the major new study suggest.

This is a perfect usage (but a bit strange for some) of the past perfect. The thing you're missing is the ellipsis of the simple past inserted by me and shown in blue. Now you have the required sequence of tenses in an explicit fashion.
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Comments  
A great answers by Clive and Marius.
I can't understand everything you all have written. It is too late and I must sleep now. I will read the answers carefully tomorrow. I will come back to you all if it is necessary.
I am tired now. I came home from the gym nearly an hour ago. I trained very hard today. I need a good sleep.
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3.India is better than Africa OR Africa is better than India.
4.Living in India is better than living in Africa OR Living in Africa is better than living in India.

I would agree with Clive's comments. I reflected on his comments.
Is the fourth sentence fine?
Hi,

4.Living in India is better than living in Africa OR Living in Africa is better than living in India.

Is the fourth sentence fine?


Yes.

Clive