GMAT Verbal : Correcting Parallel Structure Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #81 : 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. One of the answer choices repeats the underlined portion as it is written.

Most animals have a less impressive sense of vision than humans did.

Possible Answers:

than humans had.

from humans.

for humans.

than humans.

than humans did.

Correct answer:

than humans.

Explanation:

The underlined phrase functions as a comparison in the sentence, between humans and "most animals." Thus, the phrase needs to appropriately compare in the same manner as the other mention of the trait in the sentence. "Than humans" is the correct answer choice. The "did" is an extraneous verb that introduces an error by being in the past tense when the verb that appears prior to it in the sentence, "have," is in the present tense.

Example Question #82 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Thomas Jefferson was a lawyer in Virginia, a member of the House of Burgesses, and he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Possible Answers:

and the one who wrote the Declaration of Independence.

and writing the Declaration of Independence.

and was the writer of the Declaration of Independence.

and the writer of the Declaration of Independence.

and he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Correct answer:

and the writer of the Declaration of Independence.

Explanation:

The correct answer best follows the laws of parallelism. Like “a lawyer” and “a member,” “the writer” is a noun preceded by an article.

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

Neither hunting nor a trapped animal ensures a guaranteed succesful trip for an outdoorsman.

Possible Answers:

Neither hunting or a trapped animal ensures

Either hunting nor a trapped animal ensures

Neither hunting nor a trapped animal ensures

Neither hunting nor trapping an animal ensures

Neither hunting nor a trapped animal ensured

Correct answer:

Neither hunting nor trapping an animal ensures

Explanation:

In any "Neither...nor" phrase, each element described must be of a similar nature, so the phrase is describing similar objects. The sentence has two dissimilar objects in the phrase as it is written. The only answer choice that has an appropriate parallel structure is "Neither hunting nor trapping an animal ensures."

Example Question #71 : 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 finer points of military strategy were lost on the general, who much preferred just fighting, charging, and to fire.

Possible Answers:

just fighting charging and firing.

just fighting, charging, and to fire.

only fighting, charging, and to fire.

just fighting charging and to fire.

just fighting, charging, and firing

Correct answer:

just fighting, charging, and firing

Explanation:

In any list of verbs, such as the one in the underlined portion, all the verbs need to be in the same form. Additionally, all such lists need to have each item separated by commas. The correct answer, therefore, is "just fighting, charging, and firing."

Example Question #421 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

To alleviate stress, Margaret liked to bake chocolate cakes and swim laps but never to be practicing yoga.

Possible Answers:

rather than practice yoga.

rather than be practicing yoga.

but never to be practicing yoga.

and not to be practicing yoga.

more than to practice yoga.

Correct answer:

rather than practice yoga.

Explanation:

The cleanest and most logical coordinator here is “rather than,” and the verb should be in the same grammatical format as the ones before it.

Example Question #1521 : Gmat Verbal

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.

Vanessa prepared for her vacation by packing, reading travel books, and to buy a plane ticket.

Possible Answers:

Vanessa prepared for her vacation with the following: to pack, to read travel books, and to buy a plane ticket.

Vanessa prepared for her vacation by packing, reading travel books, and buying a plane ticket.

Vanessa prepared for her vacation by to pack, to read travel books, and to buy a plane ticket.

Vanessa prepared for her vacation with packing, reading travel books, and to buy a plane ticket.

Vanessa prepared for her vacation by packing, reading travel books, and to buy a plane ticket.

Correct answer:

Vanessa prepared for her vacation by packing, reading travel books, and buying a plane ticket.

Explanation:

This is an example of an error in parallelism. The sentence's list begins with two gerunds ("packing" and "reading") and ends in one infinitive ("to buy"). Each item in the list must be in the same form, so the sentence must be changed so that all of the items in the list are either gerunds or infinitives. 

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 celebration was extensive all over Spain, but more so in Barcelona than either Seville or Madrid.

Possible Answers:

The celebration was extensive all over Spain but more so in Barcelona than either Seville or Madrid. 

The celebration was extensive all over Spain, but more so in Barcelona than in either Seville and Madrid. 

The celebration was extensive all over Spain, but more so in Barcelona than in either Seville or Madrid. 

The celebration was extensive all over Spain, but more so in Barcelona than either in Seville or Madrid. 

The celebration was extensive all over Spain, but more so in Barcelona than either Seville or Madrid.

Correct answer:

The celebration was extensive all over Spain, but more so in Barcelona than in either Seville or Madrid. 

Explanation:

This sentence contains a parallelism error. When comparing things in sentences, in this case, cities, one must present them in the same way. So, since the first part of the comparison contains the word "in" ("in Barcelona"), the second part of the comparison must also be introduced by "in": "in either Seville or Madrid," instead of "either Seville or Madrid."

Example Question #82 : 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 scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and staying in a five-star hotel.

Possible Answers:

The scholarship allowed Mickey traveling all the way to France and staying in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and staying in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and also staying in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and to stay in a five-star hotel.

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and he could also stay in a five-star hotel.

Correct answer:

The scholarship allowed Mickey to travel all the way to France and to stay in a five-star hotel.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. The verbs "travel" and "stay" must be in the same form. In the sentence as it is presented, "to travel" and "staying" do not match. The correct answer makes both of these terms infinitives: "to travel" and "to stay."

Example Question #83 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Younger employees often struggle with time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

Possible Answers:

with things like time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

for time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

with time management, workload balancing, and file organization.

with time management, balancing workloads, and file organization.

with time management balancing workloads and file organization.

Correct answer:

with time management, workload balancing, and file organization.

Explanation:

The list in the underlined portion of the sentence, "time management, balancing workloads, and file organization," contains three items which do not describe similar actions with their structure. The three items should match in any list structured like the one in the sentence. The only answer choice that features such a parallel structure is "with time management, workload balancing, and file organization."

Example Question #84 : 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. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

The President's speech avoided both the recent scandal and how women were disenfranchised in politics.

Possible Answers:

the recent scandal, as well as how women were disenfranchised in politics.

the recent scandal: how women were disenfranchised in politics.

the recent scandal of how women were disenfranchised in politics.

both the recent scandal and the disenfranchisement of women in politics.

both the recent scandal and how women were disenfranchised in politics.

Correct answer:

both the recent scandal and the disenfranchisement of women in politics.

Explanation:

All elements in a list should be parallel: they should be of the same structure. Choose the answer that keeps elements parallel: "the recent scandal and the disenfranchisement . . ."

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