GMAT Verbal : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #81 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The new manager came in like a house on fire, changing schedules, switching assignments, and broke old rules.

Possible Answers:

changing schedule, switching assignment, and broke old rule.

change schedules, switch assignments, and broke old rules.

changing schedules, switching assignments, and broke old rules.

changing schedules, switching assignments, and breaking old rules.

changing schedules, switching assignments, and break old rules.

Correct answer:

changing schedules, switching assignments, and breaking old rules.

Explanation:

In any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence, all the verbs in the dependent clause need to be in the same form to show the subject is doing similar actions. The only answer choice that appropriately features such parallel structure is "changing schedules, switching assignments, and breaking old rules."

Example Question #131 : Correcting 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Horses, once trained, take quite well to being harnessed, saddled, and riding.

Possible Answers:

be harnessed, saddled, and riding.

being harnessed, saddled, and riding.

being harnesing, saddling, and riding.

being harnessed, saddled, and ridden.

been harnessed, saddled, and riding.

Correct answer:

being harnessed, saddled, and ridden.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence is incorrect, as any series needs to have a parallel structure, where all elements of the series are written in the same form. "Being harnessed, saddled, and ridden" is the only answer choice that is both correct grammatically and parallel in structure.

Example Question #91 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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 success of the one-handed touchdown catch was more a result of good luck than by skillful play.

Possible Answers:

good luck than of skillful play

good luck than because of skillful play

luck being good than because of play being skillful

luck being good than by play being skillful

good luck than by skillful play

Correct answer:

good luck than of skillful play

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. Specifically, it compares "of good luck" to "by skillful play." The prepositions used in these phrases should match because they are being compared—"more a result of X than by Y" doesn't treat format each item in a consistent manner. The only answer choice that fixes this issue is "good luck than of skillful play," making the corrected sentence "The success of the one-handed touchdown catch was more a result of good luck than of skillful play."

Example Question #91 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Most people, even highly skilled craftsman, are not excellent at designing, building, and maintenance of a house.

Possible Answers:

designing, building, and maintenance of a house.

designing building and maintaining a house.

designing building and maintenance of a house.

designing, building, and maintaining a house.

designing, build, and maintenance of a house.

Correct answer:

designing, building, and maintaining a house.

Explanation:

Any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence needs to have a parallel structure in their word forms, which the sentence does not have as written. Each item in such a list also needs to be separated by commas; therefore, the correct answer choice is "designing, building, and maintaining a house."

Example Question #132 : Correcting 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 interns fact-checked stories, interviewed local personalities, and were assisting with various other tasks.

Possible Answers:

The interns fact-checked stories, interviewed local personalities, and were assisting with various other tasks.

The interns had fact-checked stories, interviewed local personalities, and were assisting with various other tasks.

The interns fact-checked stories, were interviewing local personalities, and assisting with various other tasks.

The interns, fact-checking stories, interviewed local personalities, and were assisting with various other tasks.

The interns fact-checked stories, interviewed local personalities, and assisted with various other tasks.

Correct answer:

The interns fact-checked stories, interviewed local personalities, and assisted with various other tasks.

Explanation:

This sentence contains parallelism errors. Writing is more effective when related concepts are presented in the same manner. The correct choice is, "The interns fact-checked stories, interviewed local personalities, and assisted with various other tasks."

Example Question #92 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Christiano was calling his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and offered them discounts.

Possible Answers:

Christiano was calling his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and offers them discounts.

Christiano was calling his clients: he, informing them of policy changes and offered them discounts.

Christiano was calling his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and offered them discounts.

Christiano was calling his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and was offering them discounts.

Christiano was called his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and offered them discounts.

Correct answer:

Christiano was calling his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and was offering them discounts.

Explanation:

This sentence contains parallelism errors that make the sentence sound awkward. Parallelism refers to framing/phrasing different parts of a sentence in the same/similar way for the sake of consistency and flow. In this sentence, the word "offered" changes this flow without adding any essential information to the sentence. The sentence would function much better if this verb were phrased in the same as the previous verbs (was... -ing). The correct answer is: "Christiano was calling his clients: he was informing them of policy changes and was offering them discounts."

Example Question #91 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but walked on some days of the week.

Possible Answers:

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but walked on some days of the week.

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but walks on some days of the week.

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but loves to walking on some days of the week.

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but walking on some days of the week.

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but loves to walk on some days of the week.

Correct answer:

Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but loves to walk on some days of the week.

Explanation:

This sentence contains errors in parallelism. The latter half of the sentence does not follow the same pattern of verb + infinitive, which makes reading the sentence awkward. The best choice is, "Kendra loves to read in the afternoons, but loves to walk on some days of the week" since it follows the same pattern in the last half of the sentence. The other sentences are also incorrect because they contain shifts in tense, in addition to the parallelism issue.

Example Question #92 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Leah loved poetry and likes to write poems in her spare time.

Possible Answers:

Leah loves poetry and likes to: write poems in her spare time.

Leah loves poetry and likes to write poems in her spare time.

Leah loved poetry and likes to write poems in her spare time.

Leah loves poetry and likes: to write poems in her spare time.

Leah loved poetry and was liking to write poems in her spare time.

Correct answer:

Leah loves poetry and likes to write poems in her spare time.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallel structure. Since the verb in the first clause is "loved," one would expect the following verb to also be in the past tense. This is not the case, however. One of these verbs needs to be changed in order to match the same tense of the other in order for the sentence to make sense. The choice "Leah loves poetry and likes to write poems in her spare time" takes care of this issue. It is the correct choice.

Example Question #93 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Poor academic performance among students of rural schools has not resulted from shortcomings in classroom instruction but insufficiently supportive home environments.

Possible Answers:

resulted not from shortcomings in classroom instruction but have stemmed from 

resulted not from shortcomings in classroom instruction but from

resulted from shortcomings not in classroom instruction but 

not resulted from shortcomings in classroom instruction but

resulted from shortcomings not in classroom instruction but have been stemming from

Correct answer:

resulted not from shortcomings in classroom instruction but from

Explanation:

This question deals primarily with parallel structure. You can say something has resulted not from X but from Y. The correct answer choice is the only one that maintains parallel structure in this way. If the "poor academic performance" "resulted from shortcoming in classroom instruction" they must also result FROM "insufficiently supportive home environments."

Example Question #94 : Correcting Parallel Structure 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.

Witnessing the inhuman conditions suffered by political prisoners in North Korean detainment facilities is seeing firsthand the government’s human rights violations.

Possible Answers:

To witness

Having witnessed

To have witnessed

Once one witnesses

Witnessing

Correct answer:

Witnessing

Explanation:

The issue being raised in this sentence is one of parallel structure. The basic structure of this sentence is: Gerund x is gerund y, in the same way that one might say "Seeing is believing. The only choice that fits that pattern is the correct answer, which replicates the correct and consistent parallel structure of the example sentence.

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