GMAT Verbal : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #61 : Parallel Structure Errors

Under the guidance of the new manager, the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

Possible Answers:

the salesman sees an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, making deals, and earning wages.

the salesman saw improvements in his hours worked, deals made, and earning wages.

Correct answer:

the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned.

Explanation:

The three items making up the list at the end of the sentence are different kinds of descriptions. Any list needs to have the same types of words among the elements. The only answer choice to feature a correct parallel structure is "the salesman saw an improvement in his hours worked, deals made, and wages earned."

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.

 

Neither professional sports nor acting in film are as lucrative as most people think they are.

Possible Answers:

Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports or acting in film

Either professional sports nor acting in film

Neither professional sports nor acting for film

Correct answer:

Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film

Explanation:

In any "neither . . . nor" phrase, the two elements mentioned in the phrase must be the same kind of word, but they are not the same kind of word in the above sentence. "Professional sports" is a simple noun, while "acting" is a gerund, or a verb form that functions as a noun. "Neither playing professional sports nor acting in film," featuring two gerunds, features a correct parallel structure in the "neither . . . nor" phrase.

Example Question #41 : 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.

Neither football nor playing tag were allowed at recess under the school's new ruled.

Possible Answers:

Neither football nor playing tag was allowed at recess

Neither football nor playing tag were allowing at recess

Neither football nor tag were allowed at recess

Neither football nor playing tag were allowed on recess

Neither football nor playing tag were allowed at recess

Correct answer:

Neither football nor tag were allowed at recess

Explanation:

The two items in the "Neither . . . nor" phrase describe different things: a noun, "football," and a gerund phrase, "playing tag." Any such phrase needs to have the same kinds of items described in its parts. "Neither football nor tag were allowed at recess" is the only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure.

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 differences between the two groups were quite small, and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

Possible Answers:

and mostly has to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

and mostly had to do with severance pay unemployment benefits and searching for employment.

and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and employment searches.

and mostly having to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and searching for employment.

Correct answer:

and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and employment searches.

Explanation:

The list featured at the end of the sentence contains unlike items, with two nouns ("pay" and "benefits") and a participle verb ("searching"). Any such list needs to have three similar items in order to appropriately complete the phrase in which it is the object. The only answer choice with a correct parallel structure is "and mostly had to do with severance pay, unemployment benefits, and employment searches."

Example Question #62 : 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 new curriculum sought to expand what was taught in the classroom, developing students' passions for painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

Possible Answers:

students' passions from painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

student's passions for painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

students' passions to painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

students' passions for painting, acting, and to play a musical instrument.

students' passions for painting, acting, and playing a musical instrument.

Correct answer:

students' passions for painting, acting, and playing a musical instrument.

Explanation:

Any list like the one in the underlined portion of the sentence needs to feature three similar items, which the list in the sentence does not have. The three items need to have a parallel structure so that they can appropriately be linked together. The only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure is "students' passions for painting, acting, and playing a musical instrument."

Example Question #52 : 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 coach always wanted athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

Possible Answers:

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach had always wanted athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and awareness on the field.

The coach always wanting athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

The coach always wants athletes with skills and have awareness on the field.

Correct answer:

The coach always wanted athletes with skills and awareness on the field.

Explanation:

The compound object of the sentence features two unlike elements, "with skills" and "have awareness." The phrase needs to feature a parallel structure with like elements that describe a similar process. The only answer choice with an appropriate parallel structure is "The coach always wanted athletes with skills and awareness on the field."

Example Question #381 : Improving Sentences

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.

A good artist does not just have an ability to draw figures, but also excels at shading, coloring, and to frame.

Possible Answers:

but excels at shading, coloring, and to frame

but also excels in shading, coloring, and to frame

but also excels at shading, coloring, and framing

but also excelling at shading, coloring, and to frame

but also excels at shading, coloring, and to frame

Correct answer:

but also excels at shading, coloring, and framing

Explanation:

The list that ends this sentence contains three unlike items, two gerunds ("shading" and "coloring") and an infinitive ("to frame"). Any such list needs to feature a parallel structure, with all items being the same kind of word. The only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure is "but also excels at shading, coloring, and framing."

Example Question #101 : 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 entire process was overseen by a small committee of select members who were required to read documents, to argue contentious points, and making judgement calls.

Possible Answers:

who was required to read documents, to argue contentious points, and making judgement calls

who were required in reading documents, to argue contentious points, and making judgement calls

who were required to read documents, to argue contentious points, and making judgement calls

who were requiring to read documents, to argue contentious points, and making judgement calls

who were required to read documents, to argue contentious points, and to make judgement calls

Correct answer:

who were required to read documents, to argue contentious points, and to make judgement calls

Explanation:

The list of requirements of the committe contains two infinitive phrases ("to read documents" and "to argue contentious points") and one gerund phrase ("making judgment calls"). Any such list needs every one of its items to be the same kind of item, so they can be properly grouped together. The only answer choice to feature a correct parallel structure is "who were required to read documents, to argue contentious points, and to make judgement calls."

Example Question #72 : 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 car began having problems after a long road trip, after which it had a faulty battery and the brakes were not working.

Possible Answers:

after that it had a faulty battery and the brakes were not working

after which it had the faulty battery and the brakes were not working

after which it having a faulty battery and the brakes were not working

after which it had a faulty battery and non-working brakes

after which it had a faulty battery and the brakes were not working

Correct answer:

after which it had a faulty battery and non-working brakes

Explanation:

The phrase at the end of the sentence has two very different constructions for its objects, one simple description involving an object that is a noun ("it had a faulty battery"), and the other a verbal phrase ("the brakes were not working"). In a dependent clause with two objects, both need to have the same structure. The only answer choice with a correct parallel structure is "after which it had a faulty battery and non-working brakes."

Example Question #1281 : Sentence Correction

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.

Children today are involved in too many activities, between art classes, language lessons, and participating in sports.

Possible Answers:

between art classes, language lessons, participating in sports.

between art classes, language lessons, and sports.

among art classes, language lessons, and participating in sports.

between the art classes, the language lessons, and the participating in sports.

between art classes, language lessons, and participating in sports.

Correct answer:

between art classes, language lessons, and sports.

Explanation:

The list that finishes this sentence must feature three similar items, so they can be properly grouped together. The list is written with two simple nouns ("art classes" and "language lessons") and one gerund phrase ("participating in sports"), meaning they need to be changed to matching items. The only answer choice that features a correct parallel structure is "between art classes, language lessons, and sports."

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