GMAT Verbal : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Initially the measure was only seen as an emergency maneuver, with the original legislation giving proscribed limits under certain circumstances.

Possible Answers:

with the original legislation giving proscribed limits under certain circumstances.

with the original legislation having given proscribed limits under certain circumstances.

with the original legislation giving proscribed limits to be used under certain circumstances.

and the original legislation giving proscribed limits under certain circumstances.

with the original legislation gave proscribed limits under certain circumstances.

Correct answer:

with the original legislation giving proscribed limits to be used under certain circumstances.

Explanation:

The sentence as originally written attempts to be concise in its language, but does so at the expense of clarity and understanding. Simply adding in a small phrase to more adequately explain the full meaning of the phrase will greatly improve the sentence. The answer choice which best accomplishes this task is "with the original legislation giving proscribed limits to be used under certain circumstances."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Historians having long noted the sharp discrepancy between the general’s own commentary about his war experience and those of the troops under his command

Possible Answers:

Historians having long noted the sharp discrepancies

Historians having long noting the sharp discrepancy

 Historians having long noted the sharp discrepancy

Historians have long noted the sharp discrepancy

Historians having long noted a sharp discrepancy

Correct answer:

Historians have long noted the sharp discrepancy

Explanation:

The use of the present participle "having" makes the sentence not actually contain a verb, as a participle links to other verbs to create present action. The word needs to be changed to the present active verb form to make the sentence gramatically correct. "Historians have long noted the sharp discrepancy" is the only answer choice which appropriately makes the correct change.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Making up for the lack of appropriate shoes, the group all deciding to wear extra layers of socks to battle the unexpected cold snap.

Possible Answers:

the group's all deciding to wear extra layers

the group all deciding to wear extra layers

the group deciding to wear extra layers

the group all deciding to wear an extra layer

the group all decided to wear extra layers

Correct answer:

the group all decided to wear extra layers

Explanation:

The use of the present participle "deciding" in this sentence is inappropriate, as the action is in the past. Therefore, the word should be changed to the past participle form. The only answer choice which makes this change is "the group all decided to wear extra layers," making it the correct answer choice.

Example Question #4 : Correcting Other Verb 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 unpopular among his subordinates, largely because he never sought to be well liked by anyone who is working for him.

Possible Answers:

for anyone who is working for him.

by anyone who was working for him.

by anyone who is working under him.

by anyone who is working for him.

by anyone who is working with him.

Correct answer:

by anyone who was working for him.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence has an inappropriate verb form, with the present tense "is" clashing with the previous use of "was." The verb needs to be changed to match the previous verb in the first part of the sentence. The only answer choice that correctly makes this change is "by anyone who was working for him."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Looking back at his childhood, the old man thought fondly of close friends he had not been spoken to in decades.

Possible Answers:

he having not been speaking to in decades.

he had not spoken to in decades.

he had not been speaking in decades.

he had not been speaking to for decades.

he had never been speaking to in decades.

Correct answer:

he had not spoken to in decades.

Explanation:

The use of "had not been spoken to" in this sentence is incorrect. The man had not spoken to his close friends, so his friends "had not been spoken to," by the man. The sentence incorrectly makes the man the object of this phrase. The correct answer fixes this by making the man the subject of the phrase and not the object: "he had not spoken to in decades."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

Had been immersed in the literature since childhood, he maintained an appreciation for it as an adult.

Possible Answers:

Immersion happening

Had been immersed

He who had been immersed

Having been immersed

Immersion having happened

Correct answer:

Having been immersed

Explanation:

The sentence's introductory clause seems to intend to describe the subject "he," but it begins with a verb that doesn't clearly connect to the rest of the sentence and is grammatically incorrect. Introductory clauses can begin with participles, which would make much more sense in this sentence by allowing the start of the sentence to connect clearly to the subject. Of the potential answer choices, only "Having been immersed" omits the incorrect verb and replaces it with a grammatically correct participle. The other answer choices don't make sense: "Immersion having happened" and "Immersion happening" don't clearly connect the first phrase to the subject, and "He who had been immersed" introduces a grammatical error by making the sentence contain two disconnected subjects, "He who had been immersed in the literature since childhood" and "he." The corrected sentence reads, "Having been immersed in the literature since childhood, he maintained an appreciation for it as an adult."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Conflicting desires existing in every single person, and are quite difficult to sort out.

Possible Answers:

Conflicting desires existence in every single person

The existence of conflicting desires in every single person

Conflicting desires exist in every single person

Conflicting desires existing in every single person

The existing of conflicting desires in every single person

Correct answer:

Conflicting desires exist in every single person

Explanation:

The issue in the underlined portion of the sentence is the use of the verb form "existing," which is a participle and not an actual verb. The word needs to be changed into a form that functions as a verb. "Conflicting desires exist in every single person" is the correct choice among the answers.

Example Question #6 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Hold back tears, the woman was moved deeply by her son's gift.

Possible Answers:

Hold back tears

Holding back tears

Hold back of tears

Holding backing tears

Held back tears

Correct answer:

Holding back tears

Explanation:

The introductory phrase that is highlighted in the sentence describes the condition under which the woman reacted to her son's gift. Therefore, the verb form needs to describe a condition or way of being. Such a form is the present participle, which shows action currently being taken, and the correct answer is "Holding back tears."

Example Question #7 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

After a large lunch, the whole group did not want eating for a few hours.

Possible Answers:

did not want to eat for a few hours.

did not wanting eating for a few hours.

did not want eating over a few hours.

did not wanting to eat for a few hours.

did not want eating for a few hours.

Correct answer:

did not want to eat for a few hours.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence has a problem with the verb form "eating." The gerund form, used here, is inappropriate, as it is actually a verb that functions as a noun; therefore, the correct answer is "did not want to eat for a few hours."

Example Question #5 : Correcting Other Verb Errors

The orders were unclear, confused the troops everytime they were read out.

Possible Answers:

confused of the troops

confusing the troops

confused the troops

confused all troops

confused troops

Correct answer:

confusing the troops

Explanation:

The use of the verb "confused" creates many different problems in the sentence. By leading off a phrase, the word needs to be in a form that can link the phrase to the first part of the sentence. "Confusing the troops," which uses a past participle to describe the effect of the orders, is the correct answer choice.

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