GMAT Verbal : Correcting Errors Involving Commonly Confused Words

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #1241 : 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.

Passing the test is the only criteria for the position.

Possible Answers:

the test is the only criterion for the position.

the test is the only criterion, for the position.

the test is the only, criterion, for the position.

the test is the only criteria, for the position.

the test is the only criteria for the position.

Correct answer:

the test is the only criterion for the position.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "criteria," which is plural. The word "only" dictates that the word following it must be singular. The singular form of "criteria" is criterion. The correct choice is, "the test is the only criterion for the position."

Example Question #1242 : 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.

It was ironic that they did not pick Julie for the part; she seemed like the likely choice.

Possible Answers:

unfortunate

ironic

fortuitous

fortunate

bad

Correct answer:

unfortunate

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "ironic," which means contrary to what is expected. Since the latter half of the sentence states that other believed that she would obtain the part, it is most likely that "unfortunate," meaning not lucky, would be the correct choice since it is likely that people wanted Julie to get the part. The correct choice is, "unfortunate."

Example Question #41 : 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 parameter of the compound was heavily guarded; the guards constantly walked around its border.

Possible Answers:

The parameter of the compound

The outside of the compound

The top of the compound

The perimeter of the compound

The people of the compound

Correct answer:

The perimeter of the compound

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "parameter," which means a variable (something that changes). The second half of the sentence uses the word "border," which indicates that "perimeter," which means a border, is the correct choice. The answer is, "The perimeter of the compound."

Example Question #42 : 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 affects of such a large company declaring bankruptcy lasted for years. 

Possible Answers:

The affects, of such a large company

The effects of such a large company

The affects of: such a large company

The effects, of such a large company

The affects of such a large company

Correct answer:

The effects of such a large company

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "affect," which is a verb meaning to cause a change. The appropriate word here is "effect," which is a noun meaning a change. No other changes are necessary; the correct answer is, "The effects of such a large company."

Example Question #43 : 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 officers kept in constant contact in order to hone in on the fleeing suspect.

Possible Answers:

converge

avoid

hone in

home

diverge

Correct answer:

converge

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "hone," which means to sharpen. The correct phrasing would be to "home in," but note that the answer choices does not include the "in" after the word "home," which changes the meaning of the word to a house, instead of the action meant here. It can be concluded from the context of the sentence that the officers want to surround/close in on the suspect. "Converge," which means this, is the correct choice ("Diverge" means to separate). 

Example Question #44 : 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.

Her book had an enormous affect on companies around the world; governments were moving very quickly to add much tougher regulations to every industry.

Possible Answers:

Her book had an enormous, affect on companies around the world

Her book had an enormous effect on companies around the world

Her book had an enormous effect on companies: around the world

Her book had an enormous affects on companies around the world

Her book had an enormous affect on companies around the world

Correct answer:

Her book had an enormous effect on companies around the world

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "affect," which is a verb means to cause a change. The context of this sentence indicates that the noun, "effect," meaning a change, should be used here. The correct choice is, "Her book had an enormous effect on companies around the world."

Example Question #45 : 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.

She bought a luxuriant watch for her husband for their anniversary.

Possible Answers:

courteous

thriving

luxurious

luxuriant

reasonable

Correct answer:

luxurious

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "luxuriant," which means abundant. The more appropriate word is "luxurious," which means ornate, showing luxury.

Example Question #46 : 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.

She felt that the managers depreciated her contributions to the company; they always made comments about how little her projects mattered. 

Possible Answers:

discouraged her contributions to the company.

disparaged her contributions to the company.

demurred her contributions to the company.

depreciated her contributions to the company.

denounced her contributions to the company.

Correct answer:

disparaged her contributions to the company.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "depreciate," which means to reduce in value. From the context of the sentence, it is clear that a word with the meaning to make fun of or belittle is meant. The word that fits here is "disparage." The correct choice is, "disparaged her contributions to the company."

Example Question #601 : Correcting Usage 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 poetry invoked laughter in all, from toddlers to the elderly.

Possible Answers:

His poetry invoked laughter in all, from toddlers to the elderly.

His poetry invoked laughter in all from toddlers to the elderly.

His poetry evoked laughter in all, from toddlers to the elderly.

His poetry invoked laughter in: all from toddlers to the elderly.

His poetry evoked laughter in all, from toddlers to the elderly.

Correct answer:

His poetry evoked laughter in all, from toddlers to the elderly.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "invoke," which means to call upon. The more appropriate word is "evoke," which means to bring forth, to produce. No additional changes are necessary to the sentence. The correct choice is, "His poetry evoked laughter in all, from toddlers to the elderly."

Example Question #111 : Correcting Other Usage 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 found that coffee no longer enervated him; he would have to find something else to wake him in the mornings.

Possible Answers:

energized

entreated

enervated

embed

enervated

Correct answer:

energized

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "enervate," which means to weaken. It is clear from the context of this sentence that the subject is looking for something to give him energy. The correct word is "energized," which means to give energy. 

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