GMAT Verbal : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #101 : 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 great composers who create celebrated masterpieces are similar to the world-class screenwriters penning cinematic gems; both are critical in the composition of the very substance which brings together the talents of many individuals into a singular and beauteous form.

Possible Answers:

the world-class screenwriters penning

ones that pen the world-class screenplays

the world-class screenwriter which pen 

world-class screenwriters who pen

ones used in penning the world-class screenplays 

Correct answer:

world-class screenwriters who pen

Explanation:

This question concerns parallel structure. "Composers who create" are similar to screenwriters who pen. Eliminate the choices which use the incorrect verb direct. The correct choice will reflect this parallel structure. 

Example Question #102 : 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.

In a recent survey, Musician's Cosmos found that guitarists who practice daily consider themselves no more skilled than doing those who practice three to five times a week.

Possible Answers:

no more skilled than do those who practice

not as skilled as are those who are practicing 

no more as skilled as those who practiced

not any more skilled than do those practicing

no more skilled than doing those who practice

Correct answer:

no more skilled than do those who practice

Explanation:

One must consider parallel structure here, beginning with "guitarists who practice daily". Note that "those who practice three to five times a week" agrees with "guitarists who practice daily. The options using "not as" or "not any more" change the meaning of the sentence. The original sentence incorrectly drops a gerund into the sentence.

Example Question #101 : 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 best way to encourage good behavior among children is not to promise rewards for positive actions, but to offer recognition and verbal praise.

Possible Answers:

but rather offer the good behaving child recognition and verbal praise.

but to offer that the child who behaves well receive recognition and verbal praise.

but rather by offering that the child behaving receives recognition and verbal praise.

but instead make sure that the child will receive recognition and verbal praise.

but to offer recognition and verbal praise.

Correct answer:

but to offer recognition and verbal praise.

Explanation:

The original statement is correct as is. Consider the wordiness of the incorrect answers. Also consider how parallelism plays a role in correctly articulating the sentence.

Example Question #101 : 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 hours of war games on the paintball field, the sight of the white flag being raised relieved as much the winning team than it did the losing.

Possible Answers:

both the winning team as well as the losers. 

the winning team as much as it did the losing.

as much the winning team than it did the losing. 

both for the winning team and the losing team.

as much the winning team as it did it did the losers.

Correct answer:

the winning team as much as it did the losing.

Explanation:

The correct answer uses parallelism without error, is idiomatic, and is efficient. "As much as" is the correct correlative conjunction pair.

Example Question #101 : 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 great painters who create museum-worthy masterpieces are similar to the celebrated intellectuals authoring literary treasures; both are key in the representation of the human condition.

Possible Answers:

similar as the celebrated intellectuals authoring

similar for the celebrated intellectuals who author

similar to the celebrated intellectuals who author

similar to the celebrated intellectuals' that keep on authoring

similar with the celebrated intellectuals who author

Correct answer:

similar to the celebrated intellectuals who author

Explanation:

This question concerns parallel structure. "Painters who create" are similar to "intellectuals who author." Eliminate the choices which use unidiomatic combinations of the word similar and the prepositions "for," "with," and "as." The correct choice will reflect the proper parallel structure and the idiomatic "similar to."

Example Question #141 : 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.

In 1973 construction began on the Sears Tower, a building that, taking two years until completion, and that supplanted the World Trade Center towers as the tallest man-made structure in the world. 

Possible Answers:

construction began on the Sears Tower, a building that, taking two years until completion, and that supplanted 

began constructing the Sears Tower, a building that took two years until completion and that supplanted

the construction of the Sears Tower began, a building that took two years to complete, and which supplanted

construction began on the Sears Tower, a building that had taken two years to complete and that supplanted

construction began on the Sears Tower, a building that took two years to complete and that supplanted 

Correct answer:

construction began on the Sears Tower, a building that took two years to complete and that supplanted 

Explanation:

Here we have three facts about the Sears Tower that need to be organized somehow—they started building it in 1973, it took two years to complete, and when they were done it replaced the World Trade Towers as the tallest building in the world. 

Since all five of the answer choices contain the phrase a building that, the correct answer will need to be built to accommodate that that, by creating two relative clauses that describe the building out of the last two of the facts.

In the correct answer, The Sears tower, or more immediately a building, is described by two correctly constructed, parallel relative clauses.

Example Question #151 : 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.

Elsa not only needed help with her homework, but also I helped with her social skills in general.

Possible Answers:

Not only did Elsa need help with her homework, but also with her social skills in general.

Elsa needed help with her homework not only, but also with her social skills in general.

Elsa needed help not only with her homework, but also with her social skills in general.

Elsa needed not only help with her homework, but also I had helped with her social skills in general.

Elsa needed help with not only her homework, but also with her social skills in general.

Correct answer:

Elsa needed help not only with her homework, but also with her social skills in general.

Explanation:

The central issue here is consistent syntax in the parallelism related to the correlative conjunctions "Not only...but also." The correct answer follows the conjunctive phrases with an appropriate parallel structure like so: "not only with her...but also with her". The incorrect answer choices incorrectly place the phrase "not only," resulting in awkward syntax and incorrect parallelism. 

Example Question #102 : 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 performance among laborers has not resulted from shortcomings in management but a lack of motivation.

Possible Answers:

not resulted from shortcomings in management but

resulted not from shortcomings in management but have stemmed from

resulted not from shortcomings in management but from

resulted from shortcomings not in management but

resulted from shortcomings not in management but have been stemming from

Correct answer:

resulted not from shortcomings in management but from

Explanation:

This question deals primarily with parallel structure. You can say something has resulted not from  but from . The correct answer choice is the only one that maintains parallel structure in this way.

Example Question #105 : 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 great authors who have penned celebrated masterpieces are similar to the world-class composers composing orchestral gems.

Possible Answers:

the ones who write orchestral gems

the ones used in writing orchestral gems

the world-class composers who are writing orchestral gems

the world-class composers who have written orchestral gems

the world-class composers which write orchestral gems

Correct answer:

the world-class composers who have written orchestral gems

Explanation:

This question concerns parallel structure as regards verb usage. "Authors who have penned" are similar to "composers who have written." Eliminate the choices that use the incorrect verb direct. The correct choice will reflect this parallel structure and will also resolve the redundancy that results from using composers in conjunction with the verb compose.

Example Question #103 : 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.

By the end of college, three of my roommates had found jobs, but I was the only one not.

Possible Answers:

had found jobs, but I was the only one who did not.

had found jobs, but I was the only one who did not have.

had found jobs, but I was the only one not to have.

had found jobs, but I was the only one who had not.

had found jobs, but I was the only one not.

Correct answer:

had found jobs, but I was the only one who had not.

Explanation:

This sentence involves parallel structure. Because the roommates "had" found jobs, the second part must also employ the word "have" (singular). "Did" is not correct because it is not in the same tense. For parallel structure, the wording and the tense must match with the rest of the sentence.

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