Once you put in the hard work to know and detect GMAT sentence correction errors, you’re going to catch those mistakes all around you.
A recent example: one of my British friends and I were watching futbol (I’ll go with the Spanish spelling so as to not confuse sports), and I picked up on a weird (but commonly accepted) verb agreement error in futbol journalism—using a plural verb/pronoun to refer to a single team.
If you are referring to a singular entity, regardless of what it contains, is the subject singular or plural? Perhaps a silly question, and here are some perhaps really obvious examples:
The coach is…
The league is…
This team is…
BUT, then, take a look at these actual news stories from the European press:
“Real Madrid have a golden opportunity to open up a huge lead in the Champions League group stage…”
“AC … Read full post
I need you to read this. It’s an official communiqué from GMAC regarding Sentence Correction questions on the GMAT. There are a couple of very important points that GMAC’s VP of research and chief psychometrician, Mr. Lawrence M. Rudner, has to say about what the GMAT is actually testing. Afterward, I’m going to underscore and expound on some major takeaways.
Mr. Rudner writes:
“Recently there has been some discussion and questioning about the role and place of idioms and sentence correction as they apply to the skills tested in the GMAT exam. Much of what has been written has been well-reasoned, but some of what has been written is only partially accurate or reflects some misconceptions. With this posting, I hope to put these two important pieces of the GMAT exam in their proper place within the context of what the exam measures and how.
The general categories … Read full post
The following GMAT sentence correction problem focuses on parallel structure. Remember, items in a list must be formatted in the exact same way in order to be correct on the GMAT.
The threatened railway strike would cause significant inconvenience to the city: not only do thousands of commuters rely on trains to get them to and from work, but also as a connection between other forms of public transportation, such as buses and subways.
(A) not only do thousands of commuters rely on trains to get them to and from work, but also as a connection between
(B) thousands of commuters rely on trains not only to get them to and from work, but also to connect with
(C) thousands of commuters rely not only on trains to get them to and from work, but also as a connection with
(D) not only thousands of commuters going to and … Read full post
The majority of grammatical errors that appear in the sentence correction questions on the GMAT fall into six categories. Today’s question focuses on verb errors; when a verb appears in a sentence correction problem, make sure it is correct in both tense and number.
Wolfgang von Kempelen, an 18th-century Hungarian baron, claimed to have invented a chess-playing automation he called “The Turk”; this mechanical illusion, which was actually operated by a hidden chess master who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin as well as many other well-known challengers, were destroyed in an 1854 fire.
(A) which was actually operated by a hidden chess master who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin as well as many other well-known challengers, were
(B) which a hidden chess-master actually operated, defeating Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin as well as many other well-known challengers, were
(C) which was actually operated by a … Read full post
Let’s consider the common category of GMAT Sentence Correction errors often called ‘usage and style.’ These errors are based on accepted usage and tend to deal with word choice and idioms. Because there are no universal rules, you need memorize any idioms you do not already know.
In symbiotic relationships, one organism may live on or inside another, or simply be related to the other by mutual behavior, but all types of symbiosis evolve because both organisms derive a benefit from the other.
(A) both organisms derive a benefit from the other
(B) both organisms derive a benefit from each other
(C) each organism derives a benefit from the other
(D) each organism derives a benefit from one another
(E) the organisms both derive a benefit from each other
The original sentence states, “both organisms derive a benefit from the other.” However, “both” and “from the … Read full post
Today we will be looking at a sentence correction problem that features a pronoun error. Pronoun errors are fairly common on the GMAT, so you want to be ready for them. Remember, when you see a pronoun, it must match its antecedent (the word it is replacing) in number and it must be unambiguous – that is, you must know without any doubt what the pronoun’s antecedent is.
During World War II, “code talkers” were Native American soldiers that were specifically recruited to develop codes based in the Navajo language; these codes made any intercepted communications virtually indecipherable.
(A) that were specifically recruited to develop codes based in the Navajo language
(B) who were specifically recruited to develop codes based in the Navajo language
(C) that used the Navajo language to develop the codes they were specifically recruited for
(D) that, when specifically recruited, developed codes based … Read full post
By Guest Author Kurt Keefner
A lot of Kaplan’s GMAT students struggle with Sentence Correction. Probably most of the people reading this post have some trouble with it. But why should that be? Presumably everyone reading this speaks English.
That’s the key to the puzzle right there. We all speak English, but the GMAT doesn’t test spoken English, it tests written English, otherwise know as Standard English. Unless you are trained as a writer or normally read university-level texts, your exposure to Standard English may be fragmentary and/or faded.
One remedy for this situation is to read well-written books and periodicals such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. (The Economist is well written, but in British English, which is slightly different from the American Standard English tested on the GMAT.) Your Kaplan course materials will also provide a review of many of the … Read full post
Today’s advanced GMAT sentence correction problem revolves around a modification error. Remember to watch out for modifying phrases at the beginning of a sentence – they must refer to whatever comes directly after them.
Running off-Broadway for 17,162 performances over 42 years, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones adapted The Fantasticks from Edmund Rostand’s 1894 play Les Romanesques.
(A) Running off-Broadway for 17,162 performances over 42 years, Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones adapted The Fantasticks from Edmund Rostand’s 1894 play Les Romanesques.
(B) The Fantasticks, which ran off-Broadway for 17,162 performances over 42 years, was adapted by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones from Edmund Rostand’s 1894 play Les Romanesques.
(C) The Fantasticks, which ran off-Broadway for 17,162 performances over 42 years and was adapted by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones adapted from Edmund Rostand’s 1894 play Les Romanesques.
(D) Running through 17,162 performances over … Read full post
One of the toughest grammar rules for many GMAT test-takers to spot is the comparison error. This can be especially difficult because many of the errors that pop up in Sentence Correction questions are related to context rather than grammatical structure.
If you come across a comparison in a sentence correction problem, you should look for two possible problems.
First, you should make sure the items being compared are in parallel form. A comparison is treated grammatically as a list of two items. Therefore, just as you would in a list, you must make sure that the items in the comparison are formatted in the exact same way.
Second, and this is where it can get tricky, items being compared must be logically similar. Consider the sentence, “unlike the hearing of a dog, humans cannot hear very high pitched tones.” In order to determine what the sentence is … Read full post
Today, we are going to focus on comparison errors in GMAT sentence correction. As you try the problem below, keep in mind that items being compared must be logically similar and be in parallel form.
Just as studying Latin helps students with English vocabulary – many English prefixes, suffixes, and roots are derived from Latin words – so basic math skills are useful to those interested in taking classes in science or economics.
(A) so basic math skills are useful to those interested in taking classes
(B) so learning basic math skills is useful to those interested in taking classes
(C) so the basic skills of math are useful to those interested in taking classes
(D) learning basic math skills is useful to those interested in taking classes
(E) basic math skills are useful to those interested in taking classes
When we see the phrase … Read full post