GMAT Verbal : Correcting Noun-Noun Agreement Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Just one of the large family's seven children became successful entrepreneurs; the rest found more conventional jobs.

Possible Answers:

Just one of the large family's seven children became successful entrepreneurs, and rest found more conventional jobs.

Just one of the large family's seven children became a successful entrepreneur, however, the rest found more conventional jobs.

Just one of the large family's seven children became successful entrepreneurs, but the rest found more conventional jobs.

Just one of the large family's seven children became a successful entrepreneur; the rest found more conventional jobs.

Just one of the large family's seven children became a successful entrepreneur, the rest found more conventional jobs.

Correct answer:

Just one of the large family's seven children became a successful entrepreneur; the rest found more conventional jobs.

Explanation:

"Just one" is singular; therefore, the verb must be conjugated to agree with a singular subject. Entrepreneurs also must change to the singular form. The second part of the sentence is correct in the question. Semicolons can link two related, independent clauses, with or without the use of a conjunction like "however" or "therefore."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Favoring handmade suits and buying Italian leather shoes, the young man’s ability to spend on fashion items was unparalleled among his friends.

Possible Answers:

Favoring handmade suits and bought Italian leather shoes

Favored handmade suits and buying Italian leather shoes

Favoring handmade suits and Italian leather shoes

Favoring handmade suits, buying Italian leather shoes

Favoring handmade suits and buying Italian leather shoes

Correct answer:

Favoring handmade suits and Italian leather shoes

Explanation:

The use of both "favoring" and "buying" in the opening phrase is awkward and ruins the parallelism between the suits and the shoes. Tying the two items to the same verb streamlines the phrase and makes the sentence more gramatically correct. " Favoring handmade suits and Italian leather shoes" is the only answer choice that makes the appropriate correction to the sentence.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Both of Tim's triplets were developing quite nicely. No error

Select the underlined word or phrase that needs to be changed to make the sentence correct. Some sentences contain no error at all. 

Possible Answers:

Both

Tim's 

were

No error 

triplets

Correct answer:

Both

Explanation:

In this question, the nouns "both" and "triplets" disagree. Triplets would suggest three things, while "both" only applies to differentiating between two options. Therefore "both" should be replaced, perhaps with a word like "all."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

All students in my program hope to become a rich, famous author, but statistics indicate that none of us will.

Possible Answers:

All students in my program hope to become rich, famous authors, but statistics indicate that none of them will.

All students in my program hope to become some rich famous authors, but statistics indicate that none of us will.

All students in my program hope to become a rich, famous author, but statistics indicate that not any of us will.

All students in my program hope to become rich, famous authors, but statistics indicate that none of us will.

All students in my program hope to become rich, famous authors, but statistics indicate that we will.

Correct answer:

All students in my program hope to become rich, famous authors, but statistics indicate that none of us will.

Explanation:

In this sentence, "all students" establishes the subject as plural. Therefore the "rich, famous author" must be changed to be plural: "All students in my program wish to become rich, famous authors." 

Because the writer is included in "all students in my program," the most correct version of this sentence would include the author in the assertion that "none of us will."

Example Question #889 : Improving Sentences

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Although they were on time, the students had their pencil sharpened or their drawing pad out at the beginning of class.

Possible Answers:

the students were not having their pencils sharpened or their drawing pads out at the beginning of class.

the students did not have their pencils sharpened or their drawing pads out at the beginning of class.

the students had their pencil sharpened and their drawing pad out at the beginning of class.

the students did not have their pencil sharpened or their drawing pads out at the beginning of class.

the students were having their pencils sharpened or their drawing pads out at the beginning of class.

Correct answer:

the students did not have their pencils sharpened or their drawing pads out at the beginning of class.

Explanation:

Because the subject of the sentence is the plural “students,” we have to assume that each student would have his or her own pencil and drawing pad. Therefore, the correct sentence has “pencils” and “drawing pads.” Also, “had sharpened” is more concise and correct than “were having sharpened” or “were having sharpening.”

Example Question #5 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Even if everyone I invited is free, there’s still no guarantee that they will come to my party.

Possible Answers:

Even if everyone I invited is free, there’s still no guarantee that they will come to my party.

Even if everyone I invited is free, there’s still no guarantee that people will come to my party.

Even if everyone I invited is free, there are still no guarantee that they will come to my party.

Even if everyone I invited are free, there’s still no guarantee that people will come to my party.

Even if everyone I invited are free, there’s still no guarantee that they will come to my party.

Correct answer:

Even if everyone I invited is free, there’s still no guarantee that people will come to my party.

Explanation:

“Everyone” is an indefinite pronoun that’s treated as singular. Therefore, the correct verb conjugation is “is.” Because “everyone” is indefinite, we can’t use the definite pronoun “they” at the end of the sentence to refer back to “everyone,” so we must use “people” instead. Because “guarantee” is singular, “there’s” is correct and “there are” is incorrect.

Example Question #731 : Correcting Word Usage Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

After months of organizing the gala, several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as a waiter or bartender instead.

Possible Answers:

several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as a waiter or bartender instead.

several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as waiters or bartenders instead.

several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as waiter or bartender instead.

several of the party planners is beginning to wish they worked as waiters or bartenders instead.

several of the party planners is beginning to wish they worked as a waiter or as a bartender instead.

Correct answer:

several of the party planners are beginning to wish they worked as waiters or bartenders instead.

Explanation:

Because there are several party planners longing for different jobs, the jobs themselves must be plural; three or four people can’t work as a single waiter or bartender. And because “party planners” is plural, the correct verb conjugation is “are.”

Example Question #7 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Trying to convince me to go with them, my friends described the concert as once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Possible Answers:

my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

my friends described the concert as once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

my friends described the concert as an experience once-in-a-lifetime.

my friends described the concert as experienced once-in-a-lifetime.

my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Correct answer:

my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Explanation:

Because a "concert" is a singular noun, it can only be one experience and not many. “Trying to convince me to go with them, my friends described the concert as a once-in-a-lifetime experience” is the least awkward option.

Example Question #5 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Dani drove her car into the parking garage, turned off the engine, and made sure to lock her cars doors securely as she left.  

Possible Answers:

to locked her cars' doors securely

to lock her car doors securely

to lock her cars doors securely

to lock her cars doors securely

to locking her cars doors securely

Correct answer:

to lock her car doors securely

Explanation:

There is a disagreement between the nouns "cars" and "doors" in the sentence; we are told earlier in the sentence via its use of "her car" that Dani only drove one car into the parking garage. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "to lock her car doors."

Example Question #9 : Correcting Noun Noun Agreement Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

We decided resolutely to pin all of our hopes and dream on the team's victory.

Possible Answers:

pin all of hopes and dream

pin all of our hope and dreams

pin all of our hopes and dreams

pin all of our hopes and dream

pinning all of our hoping and dreams

Correct answer:

pin all of our hopes and dreams

Explanation:

There is a disagreement here between the nouns "hopes" and "dream" when they follow the phrase "all of our." Both nouns should be plural, and therefore the correct answer is "resolutely pin all of our hopes and dreams."

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