GMAT Verbal : Correcting Other Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

He was never very happy during his school days, and his post-graduation depression was a completely different kind of problem.

Possible Answers:

his school days, then his post-graduation depression

his school days, so his post-graduation depression

his school days, and his post-graduation depression

his school days, therefore his post-graduation depression

his school days, but his post-graduation depression

Correct answer:

his school days, but his post-graduation depression

Explanation:

The construction of this sentence makes it clear that the two parts of this compound sentence are contrasted with one another. This makes the use of the conjunction "and" to join the two a mistake, as the conjunction "but" is used to draw a sharp contrast between the two parts. As the only answer choice to use the correct conjunction, "his school days, but his post-graduation depression" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

While evidence of the the growing influence of Punic identity in North Africa can be found in many of his writings, and it is most prominent in his many surviving letters.

Possible Answers:

many of his writings, it is most prominent

many of his writings, though it is most prominent

many of his writings, but it is most prominent

many of his writings; and it is most prominent

many of his writings, and it is most prominent

Correct answer:

many of his writings, it is most prominent

Explanation:

In this case, no conjunction is needed between the two clauses. This is because the part of the sentence before the comma consists of a subordinate clause, not an independent clause. In other words, this part of the sentence cannot stand on its own. Commas followed by conjunctions are used to combine two independent clauses into a compound sentence, and since this sentence consists of a subordinate clause and an independent clause instead of two independent clauses, a comma is sufficient and the conjunction ("and") is not only unnecessary, but grammatically incorrect.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

Neither she faltered nor she hesitated when questioned under oath.

Possible Answers:

Nor she faltered nor hesitated when questioned under oath.

She faltered nor hesitated when questioned under oath.

She neither faltered nor hesitated when questioned under oath.

Neither faltered nor hesitated when questioned under oath did she.

When questioned under oath neither she faltered nor hesitated.

Correct answer:

She neither faltered nor hesitated when questioned under oath.

Explanation:

The example sentence begins with a negative word ("Neither") and uses the corresponding negative conjunction ("nor"); therefore, it must either be changed to begin with the subject, or changed to add a "do" verb immediately after "neither." In modern English it is considered smoother, and more common, to simply begin the sentence with the subject, and then treat the negative conjunction normally, rather than adding a "do" verb, but adding a "do" verb would also be grammatically correct. Of the options provided, the best solution to this conjunction error would be, "She neither faltered nor hesitated when questioned under oath."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

The last time it snowed, that was in February, my dad lost control of his car and hit a tree.

Possible Answers:

snowed, which was in February,

was snowing, that was in February,

snows, that was in February,

snowed, February was the month,

snowed, it was in February,

Correct answer:

snowed, which was in February,

Explanation:

This is a case in which we need to decide whether to use the word "which" or "that" to introduce the clause set apart from the rest of the sentence by commas. "That" is used to introduce information absolutely necessary to the sentence's meaning, whereas "which" is used to introduce information that would not change the sentence's meaning if it were removed from the sentence. Information that is not crucial to the sentence's meaning is usually set apart by commas.

In this case, the sentence "The last time it snowed, my dad lost control of his car and hit a tree" still makes sense, so we know that the information included between the commas isn't absolutely necessary to the sentence's meaning. Plus, the information in question is being set apart from the rest of the sentence by commas. So, we should use "which," and not "that."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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 repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

She carefully reviewed her case notes, such as not to be surprised in court.

Possible Answers:

She carefully reviewed her case notes, so as not to be surprised in court.

She carefully reviewed her case notes, therefore not to be surprised in court.

She carefully reviewed her case notes, but not to be surprised in court.

She carefully reviewed her case notes, such as not to have been surprised in court.

She carefully reviewed her case notes, not to be so surprised in court.

Correct answer:

She carefully reviewed her case notes, so as not to be surprised in court.

Explanation:

The example sentence makes use of an incorrect conjunction. "Such" is used to indicate a result, whereas "so" is used (as a conjunction) to indicate purpose. Because the sentence is discussing someone's precautionary measure, the correct conjunction here is "so". "She carefully reviewed her case notes, so as not to be surprised in court."

Example Question #5 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

While his new acquaintances always initially think that Daniel is a very shy person, but longtime friends know that he can be very outgoing in the right circumstances. 

Possible Answers:

 that Daniel is a very shy person, longtime friends know 

 that Daniel is a very shy person, while longtime friends know 

 that Daniel is a very shy person, and longtime friends know 

 that Daniel is a very shy person, though longtime friends know 

 that Daniel is a very shy person, or longtime friends know 

Correct answer:

 that Daniel is a very shy person, longtime friends know 

Explanation:

The original sentence is constructed in such a way that its two clauses are meant to contrast each other. In this instance, there is no need for any conjunction after the comma since the second clause stands in clear contrast to the first without one. 

Example Question #6 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, but so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Possible Answers:

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, while so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, that so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, and so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, however so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Correct answer:

Janice was the top student in her graduating high school class, so the principal invited her to be valedictorian of the class. 

Explanation:

The original sentence consists of two clauses, the second of which is the result of the first. "But" is therefore not an appropriate conjunction to use in this sentence, and the inclusion of the word "so" is enough to demonstrate cause and effect.

Example Question #7 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

Paul knew that summer was coming, and he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Possible Answers:

Paul knew that summer was coming, so he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Paul knew that summer was coming, which he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Paul knew that summer was coming, but he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Paul knew that summer was coming, that he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Paul knew that summer was coming, while he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Correct answer:

Paul knew that summer was coming, but he hadn't confirmed any plans for vacation.

Explanation:

The second clause in the sentence is intended to stand in contrast to the first, so the best conjunction to use in this instance is "but."

Example Question #918 : 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.

The weather forecast predicted snow for today, and it is raining.

Possible Answers:

predicted snow for today, and it is

predicted snow, for today and it is

predicted snow around today, and it is 

predicted snow for today, but it is

predicted it to be snowing today, and it is

Correct answer:

predicted snow for today, but it is

Explanation:

Because the second independent clause contradicts the first in this compound sentence it is more correct to separate the two with the conjunction "but," not "and."

Example Question #8 : Correcting Other Conjunction 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.

Her father indicated his willingness to lend her the money and she hated the idea of being indebted to her father.

Possible Answers:

the money, and she hated the idea of

the money but she hated that the idea

the money and hated the idea of

the money, but she hated the idea of

the money but then she hated the idea that

Correct answer:

the money, but she hated the idea of

Explanation:

When connecting two independent clauses using a coordinating conjunction, one should use a comma after the word preceding the conjunction. When the sentences seem to contrast, it is most likely most appropriate to implement "but" rather than "and". The incorrect answers all show errors of this kind. Some of the incorrect answer choices also incorrectly use the relative pronoun "that" in place of the preposition "of," resulting in a syntactic error.

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