GMAT Verbal : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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 leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would effect the company's stocks.

Possible Answers:

The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would effect the companies stocks.

The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would affect the stocks.

The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would affect the company's stocks.

The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would affect the companies stocks.

The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would effect the stocks.

Correct answer:

The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would affect the company's stocks.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "effect," which is a noun. The verb is spelled "affect," which is how the word is being used in this sentence. The choice "The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would affect the stocks" is a little vague, however, as "stocks" in this case may not refer to the company's stocks specifically, but the market in general or maybe the stocks of a supplier or otherwise. The best choice is, "The leaders of the company were nervous because they were unsure of how the newest report would affect the company's stocks" since it is the most clear.

Example Question #12 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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.

They all thought that she did her job good.

Possible Answers:

They all thought that she did her job goodly.

They all thought that she did her job great.

They all thought that she did her job well.

They all thought that she did her job in a great fashion.

They all thought that she did her job good.

Correct answer:

They all thought that she did her job well.

Explanation:

The word "good" is used incorrectly, since "good" is an adjective. It is being used in this sentence, however, to modify the verb "did;" therefore, we need an adverb. The correct word is "well." The correct choice is, "They all thought that she did her job well" as it is the clearest and most concise option.

Example Question #13 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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 marketers intended to peek everyone's interest with their new viral ad campaign. 

Possible Answers:

The marketers intended to pique everyone's interest with their new viral ad campaign. 

The marketers intended to peak everyone's interest with their new viral ad campaign. 

The marketers intended to pique everyone's interest; with their new viral ad campaign. 

The marketers intended to peek everyone's interest with their new viral ad campaign. 

The marketers intended to peek everyone's interest; with their new viral ad campaign. 

Correct answer:

The marketers intended to pique everyone's interest with their new viral ad campaign. 

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "peek," which means "to glance at." The meaning in this sentence is to excite, which is the meaning of the word "pique." The correct choice is, "The marketers intended to pique everyone's interest with their new viral ad campaign" since all other punctuation and usage are correct.

Example Question #14 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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.

It was hard to perceive exactly what the object was, even though it was stationery.

Possible Answers:

even though it was stationed.

even though it was stationary.

even though it was stationery.

even though it was unfixed.

even though it was staticy.

Correct answer:

even though it was stationary.

Explanation:

The word "stationery" refers to office supplies. Do not confuse this with "stationary," which means "something that is still." The meaning in this sentence refers to the latter meaning, so the correct choice is, "even though it was stationary."

Example Question #15 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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.

Despite all her pleas, the council thought that it was mute to continue debating the proposed changes. 

Possible Answers:

her please, the council thought that it was mute to continue debating the proposed changes. 

her pleas, the council thought that it was moot to continue debating the proposed changes. 

her please, the council thought that it was moot to continue debating the proposed changes. 

her pleas, the council thought that it was proven to continue debating the proposed changes. 

her pleas, the council thought that it was resolved to continue debating the proposed changes. 

Correct answer:

her pleas, the council thought that it was moot to continue debating the proposed changes. 

Explanation:

The above sentence misused the word "mute." It is clear that whatever word should go there means something along the lines of "pointless," due to the presence of words like "despite" which indicate that something (the debates) is no longer happening. The correct word here is "moot," which means pointless or impractical. The other choices are antonyms of "moot." The correct choice is: "her pleas, the council thought that it was moot to continue debating the proposed changes."

Example Question #16 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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.

It is important to turn in you're homework every day. 

Possible Answers:

to turn in your homework every day.

to turn in you're homework every day.

to turn: in your homework every day.

to turn in you're homework, every day.

to turn in: you're homework every day.

Correct answer:

to turn in your homework every day.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "you're." This word is a contraction for "you are," when the possessive form is meant here. The correct word is "your." No additional punctuation or changes is needed, so the correct choice is, "to turn in your homework every day."

Example Question #17 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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.

There house was huge, compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.

Possible Answers:

The huge house compared the other houses in the neighborhood.

There house was huge compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.

Their house was huge, compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.

They're house was huge, compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.

Their house was huge compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.

Correct answer:

Their house was huge, compared to the other houses in the neighborhood.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "there." The possessive form is meant in this sentence, which is "their." The correct answer is, "Their house was huge, compared to the other houses in the neighborhood." No other punctuation or changes is necessary (The comma should appear after "huge" since it separates the dependent clause from the main sentence).

Example Question #18 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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 projects earned them they're peer's respect.

Possible Answers:

The projects earned them the respect of they're peers.

They earned there peer's respect with the projects.

They earned they're peer's respect with the projects.

The projects earned them their peer's respect.

The projects earned them there peer's respect.

Correct answer:

The projects earned them their peer's respect.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "they're," which is a contraction for "they are." The word is clearly meant to be possessive, which would be "their." The correct answer is, "The projects earned them their peer's respect." Everything else in the sentence is correct. 

Example Question #19 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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 owner of the store wished to conversate with his employees.

Possible Answers:

desired to have a conversation

was wanting to converse

wished to conversate

wished to converse

wished to conversates

Correct answer:

wished to converse

Explanation:

"Conversate" is not an actual word. The proper word is "converse." While the phrases "desired to have a conversation" and "was wanting to converse" are grammatically correct, these choices are less concise than the option "wished to converse." The correct choice is, "wished to converse."

Example Question #20 : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

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 affect of the company's recent downsizing was a decrease in employee morale. 

Possible Answers:

The effect of the company's recent downsizing,

The affect of the company's recent downsizing,

The affect of the company's recent downsizing

The effect of the companies recent downsizing

The effect of the company's recent downsizing

Correct answer:

The effect of the company's recent downsizing

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "affect." The word "affect" is a verb, meaning to cause something to happen. What is meant in this sentence, however, is the noun a result of an action, which is spelled "effect." No additional punctuation is necessary. The correct choice is, "The effect of the company's recent downsizing."

Tired of practice problems?

Try live online GMAT prep today.

1-on-1 Tutoring
Live Online Class
1-on-1 + Class
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors