GMAT Verbal : Correcting Other Punctuation Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #341 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

"Could you give me direction to this address?" asked Amir "I think I am lost."

Possible Answers:

"Could you give me direction to this address?" asked Amir "I think I am lost."

"Could you give me direction to this address?" asked Amir. "I think I am lost."

"Could you give me direction to this address?," asked Amir, "I think I am lost."

"Could you give me direction to this address?" asked Amir. "I think I am lost."

"Could you give me direction to this address?," asked Amir "I think I am lost."

Correct answer:

"Could you give me direction to this address?" asked Amir. "I think I am lost."

Explanation:

This sentence omits a period where one is needed. The correct answer is, " "Could you give me direction to this address?" asked Amir. "I think I am lost." Everything else is correct. Commas should never come after ending punctuation in a quote and "asked Amir" is the end of a sentence, so a period is appropriate, instead of a comma. 

Example Question #342 : Correcting Punctuation 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 Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson, disturbed many people.

Possible Answers:

"The Lottery," a short story by Shirley Jackson,

The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson, 

"The Lottery," a short story by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson, 

Correct answer:

"The Lottery," a short story by Shirley Jackson,

Explanation:

This sentence contains a misuse of italics. Italics/underlining should not be used when referring to a story. The titles of stories should be surrounded by quotation marks. Italics are for complete, longer works like novels and plays. All of the other punctuation is correct. The correct answer is, " "The Lottery," a short story by Shirley Jackson,"

"The Lottery" was first published in 1948.

Example Question #343 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

August asked, "What time are we meeting for the concert"?

Possible Answers:

asked, "What time are we meeting for the concert"?

asked "What time are we meeting for the concert"?

asked, "What time are we meeting for the concert?"

asked: "What time are we meeting for the concert?"

asked, "what time are we meeting for the concert?"

Correct answer:

asked, "What time are we meeting for the concert?"

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in the placement of the question mark. Ending punctuation should always go on the inside of quotation marks. The correct choice is, "asked, "What time are we meeting for the concert?" "

Example Question #344 : Correcting Punctuation 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.

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event?" inquired Eva.

Possible Answers:

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event"

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event?"

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event."

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event,"

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event"?

Correct answer:

"Japser wants to know if you will be at the event,"

Explanation:

The use of a question mark is inappropriate in this sentence for two reasons: first, the message in the quotation marks is not a direct question, but an indirect question. Question marks should only be used after direct questions, so it would be appropriate if the message was, "Will you be attending the event?" The second issue is that the quotation does not end this sentence, so even though it functions as an independent clause, you would not use any sort of ending punctuation. When a quotation ends/begins in the middle of a sentence, a comma should be used to separate it from the rest of the sentence. The correct choice is, " "Japser wants to know if you will be at the event," "

Example Question #11 : Correcting Other Punctuation 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.

Wayne Gretzky once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take". 

Possible Answers:

once said: "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take". 

once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.". 

once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take". 

once said "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." 

once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." 

Correct answer:

once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." 

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in the placement of the period at the end. Periods and any ending punctuation should always appear inside of quotation marks. Note, there should never be two ending punctuation marks, as in the case with the choice that has a period on the inside and outside of the quotation marks. No additional corrections are necessary. The correct choice is, "once said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." "

Example Question #12 : Correcting Other Punctuation 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 titled his new book "Leaves Fall Where They May."

Possible Answers:

'Leaves Fall Where They May.'

"Leaves Fall Where They May."

Leaves Fall Where They May.

Leaves Fall Where They May.

"Leaves Fall Where They May."

Correct answer:

Leaves Fall Where They May.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in the punctuation of the title of the book. Titles of books/full works should be underlined or italicized. The correct choice is, "Leaves Fall Where They May." Note that quotations are used for things like songs or poems - things generally a part of a larger body of work.

Example Question #353 : Correcting Punctuation Errors

Please choose the best version of the underlined portion of the sentence.  One of the options will remain unchanged.

Twenty odd people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Possible Answers:

Twenty-odd people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Twenty, odd people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Twenty odd, people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Twenty, odd, people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Twenty odd people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Correct answer:

Twenty-odd people came to the poetry reading at the theater.

Explanation:

We need to use the hyphen punctuation in this sentence to avoid ambiguity.  "Twenty-odd people' and 'Twenty odd people' makes a big difference to the meaning of the sentence!  Therefore, we need to somehow connect the words.  We do that with a hyphen.

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