GMAT Verbal : Correcting Other Verb Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #70 : Correcting Verb 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 storm creating havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

Possible Answers:

The storm creating havoc at the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

The storm creating havoc from the moment it made landfall near a coastal resort.

The storm created havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

The storm creating havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

The storm creating havoc from the moments it made landfall near the coastal resort.

Correct answer:

The storm created havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort.

Explanation:

The use of the participle "creating" in the sentence makes the sentence not have a verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" to create a full verb for a sentence. Either the verb needs to be changed or have a form of "to be" added in. The only answer choice that does either is "The storm created havoc from the moment it made landfall near the coastal resort."

Example Question #41 : Correcting Other Verb 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.

It is widely believed that working for the government usually requires the employee willing to take a substantial pay cut.

Possible Answers:

usually requires the employee willing to take

usually required the employee willing to take

usual requires the employee willing to take

usually requires the employee to be willing to take

usually requires the employee willing taking

Correct answer:

usually requires the employee to be willing to take

Explanation:

The sentence actually has no verb as written, as the word that is trying to function as a verb, "willing," is a participle that cannot stand alone as a verb. Instead, it needs a form of the verb "to be" attached to it to fully function as the verb in the sentence. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "usually requires the employee to be willing to take," as it is the only one that employs such a usage.

Example Question #72 : Correcting Verb 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.

Their mother keeping her promises, and each child picked out a new toy.

Possible Answers:

Their mother kept her promises

Their mother in keeping her promises

Their mother keeps her promises

Their mother keeping her promises

Their mother keeping up her promises

Correct answer:

Their mother kept her promises

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is one part of a compound sentence, and can therefore function as a complete sentence structurally. However, the participle "keeping" cannot stand alone as a verb, and the proper verb needs to match the past tense "picked" in the second clause of the sentence. "Their mother kept her promises" is the only answer choice that features the correct verb form.

Example Question #73 : Correcting Verb 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.

Working out of a former garage, the business growing rapidly into a multinational corporation.

Possible Answers:

that business growing rapidly

the business growing rapidly

the business growing rapid

the business growing more rapidly

the business grew rapidly

Correct answer:

the business grew rapidly

Explanation:

The use of the participle "growing" makes the sentence actually not have a verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" to make a complete verbal phrase. "Growing" needs to be changed to a verb that can work on its own as the main verb of the sentence. The only answer choice to do so is "the business grew rapidly."

Example Question #74 : Correcting Verb 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 team working toward a common goal.

Possible Answers:

The team worked toward a common goal.

The team's working toward a common goal.

The team working toward the common goal.

The team working toward a common goal.

The team working toward a commoner goal.

Correct answer:

The team worked toward a common goal.

Explanation:

The use of the participle "working" as the verb in the sentence is incorrect, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" with it to complete a full verbal phrase. The verb "working" needs to be changed to a proper verb form. The only answer choice that uses a correct verb form is "The team worked toward a common goal."

Example Question #75 : Correcting Verb Errors

The old woman keeping pets in unsafe conditions that were against the law.

Possible Answers:

The old woman keeping pets in unsafe conditions

The old woman keeping pets around unsafe conditions 

The old woman kept pets in unsafe conditions

The old woman keeping pets in unsafer conditions

The old woman keeping pets in unsafe condition

Correct answer:

The old woman kept pets in unsafe conditions

Explanation:

The use of the participle "keeping" as the verb in the sentence means the sentence actually does not have a verb, as a participle needs a version of the verb "to be" to make a usable verbal phrase. The only answer choice that appropriately takes care of this problem by changing the verb form is "The old woman kept pets in unsafe conditions."

Example Question #76 : Correcting Verb 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 reclusive man never keeping up with any of his old friends.

Possible Answers:

The reclusive man never keeping up among any of his old friends.

The reclusive man never keeping up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man never kept up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man not keeping up with any of his old friends.

The reclusive man not ever keeping up with any of his old friends.

Correct answer:

The reclusive man never kept up with any of his old friends.

Explanation:

The use of the participle "keeping" makes the sentence have no actual verb, as a participle needs some form of the verb "to be" in order to stand as the main verb of a sentence. The verb form should be changed to one that can actually function as a verb in the sentence. "The reclusive man never kept up with any of his old friends," which uses the past tense verb "kept," is the only answer choice that uses a correct verb form.

Example Question #77 : Correcting Verb 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 project's construction workers had never seeing a building like the new concert hall.

Possible Answers:

had never seeing the building

had not ever seeing a building

had never seen a building

had never seeing a building

have never seeing the building

Correct answer:

had never seen a building

Explanation:

"Seeing" is an incorrect verb form, as it is a present participle, used with a past tense verb, "had." The verb form needs to be changed to make it the past participle form. The only answer choice that uses the correct verb form is "had never seen a building."

Example Question #78 : Correcting Verb 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 young girl showing great aptitude for playing the piano from an early age.

Possible Answers:

showing great aptitude on playing the piano

showed great aptitude for playing the piano

showing great aptitude at playing the piano

showing greater aptitude for playing the piano

showing great aptitude for playing the piano

Correct answer:

showed great aptitude for playing the piano

Explanation:

The use of the present participle "showing" as the verb in the sentence makes the verb actually not have a verb. A participle needs to be accompanied by some form of the verb "to be" in order to be a workable verb in a sentence. The answer choice that corrects this issue is "showed great aptitude for playing the piano," which uses a straightforward past tense verb.

Example Question #79 : Correcting Verb 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 old man worked making sure he could get home before the sunset.

Possible Answers:

The old man worked making sure that he could get home before the sunset.

The old man working to make sure that he can get home before the sunset.

The old man worked to make sure that he could get home before the sunset.

The old man to work making sure that he could get home before the sunset.

The old man to work to make sure that he could get home before the sunset.

Correct answer:

The old man worked to make sure that he could get home before the sunset.

Explanation:

The use of the participle form "making" is awkward in this sentence, as a participle can only be used with a form of the verb "to be." The word can be changed to an infinitive form, making it pair better with a regular past tense verb to show what the man was working towards. Therefore, the correct answer is "The old man worked to make sure that he could get home before the sunset."

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