GMAT Verbal : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #43 : 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.

Terrorism is often defined as a violent act that is intended to create fear; perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately targets noncombatants.

Possible Answers:

a violent act that is intended to create fear; perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately targets noncombatants.

a violent act that intends to create fear; perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and deliberately targets noncombatants.

a violent act that is intended to create fear; is perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and is deliberately targeting of noncombatants.

a violent act that intends to create fear; perpetrates for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and targets noncombatants.

a violent act intended to create fear; perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and targeted towards noncombatants.

Correct answer:

a violent act intended to create fear; perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal; and targeted towards noncombatants.

Explanation:

The correct answer is the only one that employs parallel structure in the construction of the list of items.

Example Question #44 : 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.

The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

Possible Answers:

who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths

who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society

Correct answer:

who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

Explanation:

The correct answer is the most concise and the only one that maintains the correct parallel structure in the list of items.

Example Question #45 : 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.

Only under special circumstances would the professor allow a student to have as much authority as given to the current teaching assistant.

Possible Answers:

as he given to the current teaching assistant.

as he had gave to the current teaching assistant.

as given to the current teaching assistant.

as he has given to the current teaching assistant.

as gives to the current teaching assistant.

Correct answer:

as he has given to the current teaching assistant.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase is somewhat ambiguous, as the verb "given" is awkwardly appended to the sentence, making it unclear who or what had been "given." A subject, referencing the professor, needs to be attached to the verb to make it a full, non-confusing verbal phrase. The only answer choice which actually does this is "as he has given to the current teaching assistant."

Example Question #46 : 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.

The olympic weightlifting coach always stressed three points with his athletes: maintaining a strict training regimen, to eat a balanced diet, and to sleep for an adequate number of hours.

Possible Answers:

three points with his athletes: maintaining, eating, and sleeping for a strict training regimen, balanced diet, and adequate number of hours, respectively.

three points with his athletes: maintaining a strict training regimen, eating a balanced diet, and sleeping for an adequate number of hours

three points with his athletes: training, diet, and sleeping

three points with his athletes: a strict training regimen, a balanced diet, and sleeping for an adequate number of hours

three points with his athletes: training, diet, and sleeping

Correct answer:

three points with his athletes: maintaining a strict training regimen, eating a balanced diet, and sleeping for an adequate number of hours

Explanation:

Maintaining correct parallel structure requires the use of the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level. You cannot mix verb forms or parts of speech.

Example Question #47 : Correcting Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

The American Civil War had several causes, including the diverging commercial interests of the North and South, the fact that the many Southerners wanted to protect their right to own slaves, and Southerners worrying that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power to the north in the Congress.

Possible Answers:

including the diverging commercial interests of the North and South, the fact that the many Southerners wanted to protect their right to own slaves, and Southerners worried that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power to the north in the Congress.

including the diverging commercial interests of the North and South, the fact that the many Southerners wanted to protect their right to own slaves, and Southerners worrying that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power to the north in the Congress.

including the diverging commercial interests of the North and South, the desire of Southerns to protect their right to own slaves, and Southern worry that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power in the Congress to the north.

including the diverging commercial interests of the North and South, the desire of Southerns to protect their right to own slaves, and Southern worry that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power to the north in the Congress.

including that commercial interests were diverging in the north and south, that many Southerners wanted to protect their right to own slaves, and that Southerners worried that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power in the Congress to the north.

Correct answer:

including the diverging commercial interests of the North and South, the desire of Southerns to protect their right to own slaves, and Southern worry that soon-to-be admitted states would shift the balance of power in the Congress to the north.

Explanation:

Employing correct parallel structure requires the use of the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level. You cannot mix verb forms or parts of speech. The correct answer lists each item as a noun that is modified by a phrase; none of the other options have consistency in the way that the items in the list are formed. The right answer also resolves the ambiguity of "in the Congress" by correctly placing it next to the noun that it modifies ("power").

Example Question #48 : 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.

The new division of the company oversaw a wide range of activities inside the corporate structures, including production of machine parts, refinement of crude oil, and delivering supplies to factories.

Possible Answers:

including production of machine parts, refining crude oil, and delivering supplies to factories.

including production of machine parts, refinement of crude oil, and delivery of supplies to factories.

including the production of machine parts, the refinement of crude oil, and the delivering supplies to factories.

including production of machine parts, refinement of crude oil, and delivering supplies to factories.

including producing of machine parts, refinement of crude oil, and delivering supplies to factories.

Correct answer:

including production of machine parts, refinement of crude oil, and delivery of supplies to factories.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence suffers from not having proper parallel structure, combing the nouns "production" and "refinement" with the gerund "delivering." When three things are put together into a list, as in this sentence, all three elements need to be the same part of speech. The only answer choice which features appropriate parallel structure is "including production of machine parts, refinement of crude oil, and delivery of supplies to factories."

Example Question #7 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence Errors

In the following question, please choose the best sentence improvement.

The vineyards of Napa Valley are at once breathlessly vibrant, symmetrical, and the green is profound.

Possible Answers:

and the green is profound.

and its green is quite profound.

and it is profoundly green.

and profoundly green.

and so profound green.

Correct answer:

and profoundly green.

Explanation:

This sentence requires parallelism across all elements. Only "profoundly green" matches "breathlessly vibrant" and "symmetrical."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

The kids took too much time cleaning their rooms, left little time to do outdoor chores.

Possible Answers:

left little time to do outdoor chores.

left little time to had done outdoor chores.

leaving little time to do outdoor chores.

left few times to do outdoor chores.

leaving little time to doing outdoor chores.

Correct answer:

leaving little time to do outdoor chores.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase in the sentence, being the second part of a complex sentence, needs to have a parallel structure to the phrase in the first half of the sentence; therefore, "leaving little time to do outdoor chores," is the best choice among the answers.

Example Question #7 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

In the following question, please choose the best sentence improvement.

When choosing a sport, youths are encouraged to consider its difficulty, its required skills, its necessary equipment, and its overall cost.

Possible Answers:

its overall cost.

if it costs money.

the cost of it.

the money needed for it.

how much it costs overall.

Correct answer:

its overall cost.

Explanation:

In this question, only the original sentence shows parallelism. Any choice other than "its overall cost" would not exhibit parallel structure with the sentence's other elements.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

The teacher sought new ways of teaching, believing her students would get more from lessons featuring playing, acting, and creativity.

Possible Answers:

featuring playing, acting, and creative things. 

featuring play, act, and creativity.

featuring playing, acting, and creativity.

featuring playing, acting, and creating.

featuring the playing, acting, and creativity.

Correct answer:

featuring playing, acting, and creating.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence features a list of verbs, but they are not all in a parallel form. All such lists must feature a parallel structure for the verbs listed; therefore, the correct answer is "featuring playing, acting, and creating."

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