GMAT Verbal : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #1221 : Gmat Verbal

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.

Once Kelly saw her brother's presents, she wanted presents to.

Possible Answers:

she wanted presents to.

she wants presents to.

she wanted presents too.

she wants presents too.

she wanted presents two.

Correct answer:

she wanted presents too.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "to." The correct word, meaning in addition to, is "too." "To" with one "o" means towards/for and "two" is a numerical value. Note that the correct verb is "wanted" since the verb used prior to this one in the sentence was "saw," which is in the perfect past tense. "Wanted" is appropriate in order to maintain consistency in tense. The correct choice is, "she wanted presents too."

Example Question #1222 : Gmat Verbal

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.

Once Helena lead the kids to their classes, she returned to her office.

Possible Answers:

led the kids to his or her classes

lead the kids to their classes

lead the kids to his or her classes

led the kids to their classes

leads the kids to their classes

Correct answer:

led the kids to their classes

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "lead." The word "lead" is present tense, but the context of this sentence indicates that the action has already happened from our perspective and should be in the past tense. The past tense of this word is "led." Furthermore, "his or her" is imprecise; "their" is more appropriate for the sentence because the word "kids" is plural. The correct choice is, "led the kids to their classes."

Example Question #1231 : Gmat Verbal

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 the deadline past, people were much less anxious around the office. 

Possible Answers:

After the deadline passed

After the deadline pasted

After the deadline passes

After the deadline was passing

After the deadline past

Correct answer:

After the deadline passed

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "past." The word "past" refers to a timeframe of events that have already happened. The correct word is "passed," which refers to the action of having happened. The correct choice is, "After the deadline passed." The other choices are incorrect because they would be inconsistent with the tense of the latter half of the sentence. 

Example Question #1232 : Gmat Verbal

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.

Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to sit the bills on the counter so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Possible Answers:

Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to sit the bills on the counter, so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to sit the bills on the counter so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to set the bills on the counter, so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to set the bills on the counter so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Before she went running Jennifer made sure to sit the bills on the counter so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Correct answer:

Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to set the bills on the counter so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "sit." The word "sit" means to rest, remain, or place one's self. The appropriate word here is "set," which means to put/place something. No additional changes are necessary. The phrase "Before she went running" is an example of an introductory statement, explaining information necessary to the context of the sentence, but outside of the main sentence, grammatically. These types of phrases must be followed by a comma in order to separate them from the rest of the sentence. The rest of the sentence is one independent clause. The correct choice is, "Before she went running, Jennifer made sure to set the bills on the counter so that she would not forget to attend to them when she returned."

Example Question #1233 : Gmat Verbal

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.

Kiera's new job would be in the capitol of the country.

Possible Answers:

Kiera would be traveling to the capital of the country for her new job.

Kiera's new job would be in the capital of the country.

Kiera's new job would be in the capitol of the country.

Kiera's new job would be: in the capitol of the country.

Kiera would be traveling to the capitol of the country for her new job.

Correct answer:

Kiera's new job would be in the capital of the country.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "capitol," which refers to a building where lawmakers meet. It is clear from the context of the sentence that Kiera is traveling to a city, not a specific building. The correct word is "capital." No additional punctuation or changes are necessary. The correct choice is, "Kiera would be traveling to the capital of the country for her new job."

Example Question #1234 : Gmat Verbal

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 early 1900s, Emmy's family emigrated to the United States from Ireland.

Possible Answers:

 Emmy's family emigrated to the United States from Ireland.

 Emmy's family immigrated to: the United States, from Ireland.

 Emmy's family emigrated to: the United States from Ireland.

 Emmy's family immigrated to: the United States from Ireland.

 Emmy's family immigrated to the United States from Ireland.

Correct answer:

 Emmy's family immigrated to the United States from Ireland.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "emigrate," which means to move from. The word that means to migrate to another place is "immigrate." One key to not confusing these words is that "emigrate" is always used with the word from, while "immigrate" is always used with the word to. No additional changes are necessary, so the best choice is, "Emmy's family immigrated to the United States from Ireland."

Example Question #1235 : Gmat Verbal

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 program, students would learn the principals of marketing.

Possible Answers:

students would learn the principles: of marketing.

students will learn the principals of marketing.

students, would learn the principles of marketing.

students would learn the principles of marketing.

students would learn the principals of marketing.

Correct answer:

students would learn the principles of marketing.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "principal." The word "principal" is a title referring to the head of a school or organization or meaning a sum of money. The correct word here is "principle," which means a fundamental rule. No additional punctuation/changes are necessary. The difference between "would" and "will" is arbitrary in this sentence and does not change the meaning. The correct choice is, "students would learn the principles of marketing."

Example Question #1236 : Gmat Verbal

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 teacher explained, "Even though it will not be collected, it is still important to do you're homework."

Possible Answers:

"Even though it will not be collected, it is still important to do it." 

"Even though it will not be collected, it is still important to do your homework."

"It will not be collected, but it is still important to do you're homework."

"Even though it will not be collected, it is still important to do you're homework."

"It will not be collected, it is still important to do your homework."

Correct answer:

"Even though it will not be collected, it is still important to do your homework."

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "you're," which is a contraction meaning you are. The appropriate word here is "your" - the possessive form of "you." Everything else in the sentence is already correct. The other sentences either still misuse the word or misuse the punctuation in the sentence. The correct choice is, " "Even though it will not be collected, it is still important to do your homework." "

Example Question #1237 : Gmat Verbal

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 spending many days in the desert, Oscar suspected that he was beginning to see allusions. 

Possible Answers:

Oscar suspected, that he was beginning to see allusions. 

Oscar suspected, that he was beginning to see illusions. 

Oscar suspected that he was beginning to see illusions. 

Oscar suspected that he was beginning to see allusions. 

Oscar suspected that he was beginning, to see illusions. 

Correct answer:

Oscar suspected that he was beginning to see illusions. 

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "allusion." An "allusion" is an indirect reference to something and is often used to make references to literary works. It is clear from the context of the sentence that what is meant here is "illusion," a hallucination. The correct choice is, "Oscar suspected that he was beginning to see illusions."

Example Question #1238 : Gmat Verbal

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.

Apple revolutionized the phone industry with the introduction of it's iPhone.

Possible Answers:

with the introduction of it's iPhone.

with the introduction of its' iPhone.

with the introduction of its iPhone.

with the introduction of its, iPhone.

with the introduction of it's, iPhone.

Correct answer:

with the introduction of its iPhone.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "it's." It's is a contraction for "it is," but it is clear from the context of the sentence that what is needed here is the possessive form of the word: its. The possessive form of "it" does not include an apostrophe before the s. Furthermore, the form " its' " is not an actual form of "it" - it is not a word - and no comma is necessary in this sentence. The best choice is, "with the introduction of its iPhone."

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