GMAT Verbal : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Correcting Apostrophe 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.

On the weekends, Timothy drove car's at the local racetrack. 

Possible Answers:

On the weekends, Timothy drove cars'

On the weekends Timothy drove car's

On the weekends, Timothy drove cars

On the weekends, Timothy drove car's

On the weekends Timothy drove cars

Correct answer:

On the weekends, Timothy drove cars

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. The word "cars" is simply the plural form of the word and is not possessive. Apostrophes should never be used in order to pluralize a word. The correct choice is, "On the weekends, Timothy drove cars."

Example Question #32 : Correcting Apostrophe 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.

Thankfully, the companies Human Resources department did not have to deal with many issues during the year.

Possible Answers:

Thankfully, the companies' Human Resources department did not

Thankfully, the companie's Human Resources department did not

Thankfully, the company's Human Resources department did not

Thankfully, the companies Human Resources department did not

Thankfully, the companys' Human Resources department did not

Correct answer:

Thankfully, the company's Human Resources department did not

Explanation:

This sentence does not contain an apostrophe where one is necessary. The word "companies" is supposed to be possessive, but this is not the plural form. The necessary form is "company's." The correct choice is, "Thankfully, the company's Human Resources department did not."

Example Question #33 : Correcting Apostrophe 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 prevalence of company's without profits make many fear that another bubble is forming in the economy.

Possible Answers:

The prevalence of companie's without profits make many fear

The prevalence of companys without profits make many fear

The prevalence of companies without profits make many fear

The prevalence of company's without profits make many fear

The prevalence of companies' without profits make many fear

Correct answer:

The prevalence of companies without profits make many fear

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. The word "company's" should be the plural form, which is "companies." Apostrophes should never be used in order to pluralize a word. The correct choice is, "The prevalence of companies without profits make many fear."

Example Question #34 : Correcting Apostrophe 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.

Among the language's that Misha wanted to learn were Spanish, English, and French.

Possible Answers:

Among the language's that Misha wanted to learn were

Among the languages' that Misha wanted to learn were

Among the languages that Misha wanted to learn were

Among the language's that Misha wanted to learn were

Among the languages that Misha wanted to learn were

Correct answer:

Among the languages that Misha wanted to learn were

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. The plural of the word "language" is "languages." Apostrophes should never be used to pluralize a word. The correct choice is, "Among the languages that Misha wanted to learn were."

Example Question #35 : Correcting Apostrophe 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.

After she took her dog's for a walk, she decided to make dinner.

Possible Answers:

After she took her dogs' for a walk, she decided

After she took the dogs of her for a walk, she decided

After she took her's dogs for a walk, she decided

After she took her dogs for a walk, she decided

After she took her' dog's for a walk, she decided

Correct answer:

After she took her dogs for a walk, she decided

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. The word "dogs" in the context of this sentence should be the plural form of the word "dog;" however, you should never use an apostrophe to pluralize a word. The correct choice is, "After she took her dogs for a walk, she decided."

Example Question #36 : Correcting Apostrophe 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 heads of the company's gathered periodically in order to discuss ways to improve existing technologies.

Possible Answers:

The heads of the companie's gathered periodically

The heads of the companys gathered periodically

The heads of the companies gathered periodically

The heads of the company's gathered periodically

The heads of the companys' gathered periodically

Correct answer:

The heads of the companies gathered periodically

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the apostrophe. The context of this sentence indicates that multiple companies' personnel are gathering; in other words, the word "company" should be in the plural form: companies. An apostrophe should never be used to pluralize a word. The correct choice is, "The heads of the companies gathered periodically."

Example Question #37 : Correcting Apostrophe 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 always tried to encourage his' students to try as many different things as possible.

Possible Answers:

He always tried to encourage his students' to try

He always tried to encourage his students to try

He always tried to encourage his student's to try

He always tried to encourage hi's students to try

He always tried to encourage his' students to try

Correct answer:

He always tried to encourage his students to try

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. The word "his" is already possessive and does not need an apostrophe. This mark should be omitted altogether from the sentence. The correct choice is, "He always tried to encourage his students to try"

Example Question #38 : Correcting Apostrophe 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.

His' report indentified many cost-saving measures for the company.

Possible Answers:

His' report' indentified many

His report indentified many

Hi's report indentified many

His' report indentified many

The report of him indentified many

Correct answer:

His report indentified many

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. Since the word "his" is already possessive, there is no need for the apostrophe. It should be omitted. The correct choice is, "His report indentified many."

Example Question #39 : Correcting Apostrophe 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 critic replied, "I read your article "Critical Reasoning for the Unreasonable" and found it gimmicky."

Possible Answers:

'critical reasoning for the unnreasonable'

"critical reasoning for the unnreasonable" 

 "Critical Reasoning for the Unnreasonable" 

 'Critical Reasoning for the Unreasonable' 

 "Critical reasoning for the unreasonable" 

Correct answer:

 'Critical Reasoning for the Unreasonable' 

Explanation:

Quotation marks within quotation marks is mechanically incorrect. When referring to the title of an article, it is correct to place the title within quotation marks; however, when those quotation marks are within quotations, one should replace the quotation marks with apostrophes. The correct answer uses single quotation marks, the rest of the sentence is correct as written.

Example Question #40 : Correcting Apostrophe 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.

Though the hill's seemed small, the journey was arduous and long.

Possible Answers:

Though the hill's seemed small, the journey

Though the hills' seemed small, the journey

Though the 'hills' seemed small, the journey

Though the hill's' seemed small, the journey

Though the hills seemed small, the journey

Correct answer:

Though the hills seemed small, the journey

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in the placement of the apostrophe. The word "hills" is the plural form of the word and should not contain an apostrophe (which would make it possessive). Note that apostrophes are never used to pluralize a word. Omit any and all apostrophes; the correct choice is, "Though the hills seemed small, the journey."

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