GMAT Verbal : Correcting Sentence Fragment and Sentence Combination Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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 business plan presented by the consultant was difficult for the company’s management to take, it heavily criticized most of the key decisions they had made in the past year.

Possible Answers:

management to take it heavily criticized

management to take, it heavily criticizing

management to take, it heavily criticized

management to take, as it heavily criticized

management to take, it heavy criticized

Correct answer:

management to take, as it heavily criticized

Explanation:

The sentence as written is a run-on sentence, as it combines two independent clauses with a comma, which is incorrect. The sentence's two independent clauses need to be connected with a comma followed by a conjunction or by a semicolon. The only answer choice which does either is "management to take, as it heavily criticized," making it the correct answer choice.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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 race track was known for being the venue of many dangerous events, with few companies willing to insure any races held there.

Possible Answers:

with less companies willing to insure any races held there.

as a result of which very few companies are willing to insure any races held there.

with few companies willing to insure any races being held there.

and so then few companies willing to insure any races held there.

with few companies willing to insure any races held there.

Correct answer:

as a result of which very few companies are willing to insure any races held there.

Explanation:

As written in the question, the final phrase of the sentence is awkwardly appended to the main body of the sentence, indicating no real link between the two ideas. The fact that "few companies" will "insure any races" needs to be tied more closely to the "dangerous" aspect of the track. The only answer choice that appropriately connects the two ideas is "as a result of which very few companies are willing to insure any races held there."

Example Question #3 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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.

Creating new models is always a tricky proposition for mathematicians, always trying to do things no one else has ever done before.

Possible Answers:

because they are always trying to do things no one else has ever done before.

they always try to do things no one else has ever done before.

always trying to do things no one else has ever done before.

always they try to do things no one else has ever done before.

always having to try to do things no one else has ever done before.

Correct answer:

because they are always trying to do things no one else has ever done before.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is awkwardly appended to the previous clause in the sentence, which is not even a full thought. The underlined portion must be changed to a construction that turns the sentence into a complete sentence. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "because they are always trying to do things no one else has ever done before."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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.

She was the first female chairperson in the company's long history, this position meant that she had challenges that any previous chairs had never dealt with in their careers.

Possible Answers:

the company's long history this position meant

the company's long history; this position meant

the company's long history so this position meant

the company's long history, this position meant

the company's long history and this position meant

Correct answer:

the company's long history; this position meant

Explanation:

The sentence is written as a compound sentence, a sentence that features two complete thoughts put together to show their relationship. As the two parts of a compound sentence can be complete sentences on their own, the two parts need to be joined either by a comma and a conjunction or a semicolon. The answer choice "the company's long history; this position meant" is the only answer choice that correctly connects the two parts of the compound sentence.

Example Question #3 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

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

Buying an electric car offers many incentives. Such as lower fuel costs, generous rebate offers, and tax benefits.

Possible Answers:

Buying an electric car offers many incentives; such as lower fuel costs, generous rebate offers, and tax benefits.

Buying an electric car offers many incentives, such as lower fuel costs, generous rebate offers, and tax benefits.

Buying an electric car offers many incentives: Such as lower fuel costs, generous rebate offers, and tax benefits.

Buying an electric car offers many incentives such as lower fuel costs; generous rebate offers; and tax benefits.

Buying an electric car offers many incentives. Such as lowering fuel costs, as well as offering generous rebate offers and tax benefits.

Correct answer:

Buying an electric car offers many incentives, such as lower fuel costs, generous rebate offers, and tax benefits.

Explanation:

The example sentence contains a sentence fragment, meaning that a dependent clause has been separated from the main clause it needs to be connected to in order to make grammatical sense. The best correction would be to simply replace the period after "incentives" with a comma. "Such as" is a reliable marker of a dependent clause, and as such should rarely, if ever, begin a new sentence.

The correct version of the sentence reads: "Buying an electric car offers many incentives, such as lower fuel costs, generous rebate offers, and tax benefits."

Example Question #6 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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.

In the middle of the conflict, when the hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked.

Possible Answers:

When the hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked in the middle of the conflict.

The hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked in the middle of the conflict.

In the middle of the conflict when the hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked.

In the middle of the conflict, when the hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked.

In the middle of the conflict, as the hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked.

Correct answer:

The hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked in the middle of the conflict.

Explanation:

The sentence as it is written is not a sentence, but a sentence fragment. Both parts of the sentence are actually written as dependent clauses, and a sentence needs at least one independent clause to be considered a complete sentence. The only answer choice that properly corrects the sentence is "The hope for victory was at its lowest ebb and troop morale was completely wrecked in the middle of the conflict." This answer choice changes the original sentence's two dependent clauses to independent clauses.

Example Question #7 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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.

Our guide decided that we needed to move our base camp, the risk of avalanche was too high.

Possible Answers:

Our guide decided that we needed, to move our base camp, the risk of avalanche was too high.

Our guide decided that we needed to move our base camp; the risk of avalanche was too high.

The risk of avalanche as too high, our guide decided that we needed to move our base camp.

Our guide decided that we needed; to move our base camp, the risk of avalanche was too high.

Our guide decided that we needed to move our base camp, the risk of avalanche was too high where we were currently.

Correct answer:

Our guide decided that we needed to move our base camp; the risk of avalanche was too high.

Explanation:

The example sentence is run-on, as two independent clauses are connected using a comma. The best correction here would be to simply replace the comma with a semicolon or follow the comma with a conjunction. Both clauses could be their own sentences, but the writer wishes to connect them grammatically to suggest that one was caused by the other.

Example Question #4 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination Errors

She liked the finer things in life she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

Possible Answers:

She liked the finer things in life she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life, and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life, she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

She liked the finer things in life, always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

Correct answer:

She liked the finer things in life, and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food.

Explanation:

The sentence is a compound sentence, or one sentence that contains two complete thoughts joined together to highlight their relationship to each other. All compound sentences must be joined either by a semicolon or a comma and a conjunction. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "She liked the finer things in life, and she always had to have nice clothes and fine food."

Example Question #8 : Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic they were restricted to staff only.

Possible Answers:

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic they were restricted to staff only.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic were restricted to staff only.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic was restricted to staff only.

Patients not allowed in many different parts of the clinic were restricted to staff only.

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic; they were restricted to staff only.

Correct answer:

Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic; they were restricted to staff only.

Explanation:

The sentence as written is a compound sentence, or two complete sentences joined into one sentence to show the relationship between the two thoughts. All compound sentences need to be joined by either a semicolon or a comma and a conjunction. The only answer choice that appropriately does this is "Patients were not allowed in many different parts of the clinic; they were restricted to staff only."

Example Question #1 : Correcting Sentence Fragment And Sentence Combination 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 television show became an overnight success and it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

Possible Answers:

The television show became an overnight success; it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

The television show became an overnight success, it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

The television show became an overnight success and it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

The television show became an overnight success it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

The television show became an overnight success; and it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

Correct answer:

The television show became an overnight success; it quickly became the network's biggest hit.

Explanation:

The sentence is a compound sentence, or two sentences that are joined into one sentence to show their relationship. The two independent clauses that form a compound sentence must be connected by either a semicolon or a comma followed by a conjunction. The only answer choice that appropriately employs either of these ways of joining two independent clauses is "The television show became an overnight success; it quickly became the network's biggest hit."

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