GMAT Verbal : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, and Sentence Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #171 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 Great Gatsby examined the cultural excesses of America in the 1920's. 

Possible Answers:

did examine the cultural excesses

examines the cultural excesses

has examined the cultural excesses

examined the cultural excesses

examined the cultural excesses

Correct answer:

examines the cultural excesses

Explanation:

Present tense is always preferable when referring to existing works. The book was written in the past but still exists in the present. 

Example Question #172 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 February we will be married ten years.

Possible Answers:

will have been married ten years.

shall be married ten years

shall be married for ten years. 

have been married for ten years. 

will be married for ten years.

Correct answer:

will have been married ten years.

Explanation:

"February" is presumed to be in the future which requires the future tense "will." Adding "will" to "have been married" makes the future perfect tense. "Will be" is incorrect because it is the Simple Future tense which means that we will be married in February and then 10 years thereafter. 

Example Question #11 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

My Advanced Literature class just finished reading: "Eve's Diary", a short story by Mark Twain.

Possible Answers:

reading: "Eve's Diary," a short story by Mark Twain. 

reading "Eve's Diary," a short story by Mark Twain. 

reading "Eve's Diary", a short story by Mark Twain. 

reading Eve's Diary: a short story by Mark Twain.

reading: "Eve's Diary", a short story by Mark Twain.

Correct answer:

reading "Eve's Diary," a short story by Mark Twain. 

Explanation:

There is no punctuation between the verb and its object. Additionally, the comma goes inside the quotation marks. Any combination of punctuation makes the other answers incorrect. 

Example Question #11 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Hurricane Sandy caused destruction throughout the states of New Jersey and New York. Debris and fallen trees were laying all over the ground. 

Possible Answers:

was lying

were laid

were lying

laid

was laying

Correct answer:

were lying

Explanation:

The past progressive tense of "to lie" is "were lying." The auxiliary verb "were" completes the sentence. The difference between lay and lie revolves around the rule that to "lie" means "to rest" whereas "lay"means "to put or place." In this example, the debris and trees were placed on the ground by the hurricane. 

Example Question #181 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 the school vandalism incident, the principal ordered the teachers to make a list of students who were most likely to have committed the offence.

Possible Answers:

to make a list of students who would most likely to commit the offence.

to make a list of students who were most likely to commit the offence.

to make a list of students most likely to have committed the offence.

to make a list of students who most likely to commit the offence.

to make a list of students who was most likely to commit the offence.

Correct answer:

to make a list of students most likely to have committed the offence.

Explanation:

We need to choose the best version of the sentence. In this case, the simplest version is the best! We also can eliminate any sentences that are not grammatically correct, or that change the meaning of the sentence, or are not in the correct tense. That eliminates all of the other options.

Example Question #11 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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 house contained five cats, four dogs, ten fish, and three gerbils, about equivalent to the amount of animals sold in the local pet store!

Possible Answers:

about equal to the amount of animals sold in the local pet store!

about as many as are sold in the local pet store!

about equivalent to the amount of animals sold in the local pet store!

about equal as the amount of animals sold in the local pet store!

about equivalent as the amount of animals sold in the local pet store!

Correct answer:

about as many as are sold in the local pet store!

Explanation:

The best version of this sentence is to replace "equivalent to" with "as many as are." This succinctly rephrases the sentence without changing the meaning. This replacement flows better and is grammatically correct. 

Example Question #182 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

If animals are not sufficiently played with and fed before bed, they can become agitated, bored, and perhaps even threatening their human owners.

Possible Answers:

and perhaps even threatening their human owners.

and perhaps threat their human owners.

and possibly even threatening their human owners.

and may even threaten their human owners. 

and may even threat their human owners.

Correct answer:

and may even threaten their human owners. 

Explanation:

The best option is the simplest one. "Perhaps even threatening" is not grammatically correct, and the best replacement is "and may even threaten." We need the underlined portion is be grammatically correct and in the correct tense. The only option that does that is "may even threaten."

Example Question #183 : Correcting Other Phrase, Clause, And Sentence 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.

Unlike that of burgers made from various meats, those of vegetable origin are not only nutritious, but also wholesome.

Possible Answers:

Unlike that of

Similar to

Dissimilar to

Unlike those of

Unlike

Correct answer:

Unlike

Explanation:

The simplest version is the best version. "Unlike that of" is very wordy with not adding anything significant. Reducing this to just "unlike" is the best option. Other options change the meaning of the sentence ("similar"), or are not the best option.

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