GMAT Verbal : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #81 : 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.

Like her mother, the girl had special abilities in styling and in her dress.

Possible Answers:

in styling and from her dress.

in styling and in her dress.

in the styling and in the dress.

in styling and her dress.

in her style and in her dress.

Correct answer:

in her style and in her dress.

Explanation:

"Styling" and "her dress" are two different objects of the same verb "had." As such, the two words need to employ parallel structure and be in the same form. The answer choice that features a parallel structure is "in her style and in her dress."

Example Question #51 : 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 school sought to create well-rounded individuals, making students who were painters, musicians, and participating in athletics.

Possible Answers:

who were painters and musicians and participate in athletics.

who were painters, musicians, and participate in athletics.

who were painters, musicians, and athletes.

who were painting, musicians, and participating in athletics.

who were painters, musicians, and participating in athletics.

Correct answer:

who were painters, musicians, and athletes.

Explanation:

The list in the underlined portion of the sentence features three objects attached to the same verb, but these three objects are different kinds of words, describing different things. Any list like this one must feature a parallel structure, where all the items match in terms of tense and word form. The only answer choice to have such a parallel structure is "who were painters, musicians, and athletes."

Example Question #51 : 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 new organization needed people who could write, sell, and marketing their products.

Possible Answers:

who could write, sell, and marketing their products.

who could write, sell, and in marketing their products.

who could writing, sell, and marketing their products.

who could write, sell, and market their products.

who could write, selling, and marketing their products.

Correct answer:

who could write, sell, and market their products.

Explanation:

The list contained in the underlined portion of the sentence features unlike elements, meaning that the verb describes unlike objects. The list needs to feature a parallel structure of elements that each have the same tense and word form. The only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure is "who could write, sell, and market their products."

Example Question #31 : 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.

Whether or not a protest was made, every decision was either reviewed or debating by the committee.

Possible Answers:

either reviewed or debating by the committee.

either reviewed or debated by the committee.

either reviewed or debating in the committee.

either reviewed or debating by a committee.

either be reviewed or debating by the committee.

Correct answer:

either reviewed or debated by the committee.

Explanation:

In any "either . . . or" phrase, the elements compared must be of the same type, so that an equal comparison can be made. In the sentence, "reviewed" and "debating" do not follow such a parallel structure, because "reviewed" is a past tense verb while "debating" is a present participle. The only answer choice that employs parallel structure correctly is "either reviewed or debated by the committee."

Example Question #21 : 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.

His management style was to always be remarkably energetic, neither too intense nor too calming.

Possible Answers:

neither too intense nor too calm.

neither too intensely nor too calming.

neither too intense, nor too calming.

neither too intense nor too calmed.

neither too intense or too calming.

Correct answer:

neither too intense nor too calm.

Explanation:

"Intense" and "calming" are two different parts of speech, but are joined in the same "neither...nor" phrase. In any such phrase, the two items described must have a parallel structure. The only answer choice with a parallel structure is "neither too intense nor too calm."

Example Question #41 : 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 boys had to choose either playing with the new video game or to run outside.

Possible Answers:

either playing with the new video game or to be run outside. 

either playing with the new video game or running outside. 

either playing with a new video game or to run outside. 

either playing with the new video game, or to run outside. 

either playing with the new video game or to run outside. 

Correct answer:

either playing with the new video game or running outside. 

Explanation:

Any "either...or" construction has to feature a parallel structure that includes each item given, and this sentence uses a gerund and an infinitive. The two forms must be the same to be grammatically correct. Therefore, the correct answer choice is "either playing with the new video game or running outside."

Example Question #31 : 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.

From a young age, she enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

Possible Answers:

like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.

like hiking, to climb, and her kayak.

like hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

like hiking climbing and her kayak.

such as hiking, climbing, and her kayak.

Correct answer:

like hiking, climbing, and kayaking.

Explanation:

The list featured in the underlined portion of the sentence contains unlike items (two gerunds and one straightforward noun) as its objects. A list that forms the objects of the sentence must feature a parallel structure, so that the verb is describing similar objects. The only answer choice with the correct parallel structure is "like hiking, climbing, and kayaking."

Example Question #31 : 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 veteran favored his left leg because of an old war injury in his right leg that never healed properly or settling well.

Possible Answers:

that never healed properly nor settling well.

that never healed properly or settled well.

that never healing properly or settled well.

that never healed properly or settling well.

that ever healed properly or settling well.

Correct answer:

that never healed properly or settled well.

Explanation:

The underlined portion of the sentence features an "or" phrase with two different kind of verb phrases as the final elements of a dependent clause. The phrase actually needs to feature a parallel structure among its two parts. The only answer choice with a proper parallel structure is "that never healed properly or settled well."

Example Question #32 : 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.

As a ballplayer, he was creative, imaginative, and worked hard.

Possible Answers:

creatively, imaginative, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and he worked hard.

creatively, imaginatively, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and worked hard.

creative, imaginative, and hard working.

Correct answer:

creative, imaginative, and hard working.

Explanation:

The list contained in the underlined portion of the sentence has three items with three different forms: two adjectives and a verbal phrase. Any such list needs to have a parallel structure, where all three items are similar. The only answer choice to feature such a parallel structure is "creative, imaginative, and hard working," in which "hard working" is a participle.

Example Question #31 : 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 obstacle course was fun for the new recruit, as he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

Possible Answers:

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths.

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

as he had enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

because he enjoyed running, crouching, and to find new paths.

as he enjoying running, crouching, and to find new paths.

Correct answer:

as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths.

Explanation:

The list that forms the objects of the second independent clause contains objects that have different forms. Any such list needs to feature all three items as similar things that can be compared. The only answer choice with such a parallel structure is "as he enjoyed running, crouching, and finding new paths."

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