GMAT Verbal : Correcting Conjunction Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting Conjunction 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.

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, and what did she mean by compelling?

Possible Answers:

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, where

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, but

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, for

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, in which

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, when

Correct answer:

He was instructed to create compelling questions for the exam, but

Explanation:

The central issue here is correctly joining the two clauses using an effective conjunction. The first clause contrasts with the second clause, making the conjunctions and modifiers "for," "when," "in which," and "where" irrelevant. The correct conjunction is "but"; it is the only answer choice which conveys the correct relationship between the clauses.

Example Question #12 : Correcting Conjunction 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.

Mark's conviction was laudable, and his behavior, however, was completely unprofessional.

Possible Answers:

Mark's conviction was laudable, for his behavior, however, 

Mark's conviction was laudable, however, his behavior 

Mark's conviction was laudable, so his behavior, however, 

Mark's conviction was laudable; his behavior, however,

Mark's conviction was laudable however his behavior 

Correct answer:

Mark's conviction was laudable; his behavior, however,

Explanation:

In order to arrive at the correct answer, one must effectively combine the two independent clauses. Because they contrast in meaning, using the conjunctive adverb however after a semi-colon is appropriate. The other answers incorrectly implement conjunctions or punctuation to resolve the issue. Using a semi-colon to join two independent clauses that contrast will work when using a conjunctive adverb like "however" to convey the appropriate relationship between the clauses. Note that comma usage also comes into play here.

Example Question #13 : Correcting Conjunction 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 international organization is currently updating its Human Index, which takes into account life expectancy, education, as well as income per person.

Possible Answers:

into account life expectancy, and education, and income per person 

into account life expectancy, education, as well as income per person 

into account life expectancy and education, as well as income per person 

 life expectancy, education, and income per person in its account

life expectancy, education, as well as income per person into account 

Correct answer:

into account life expectancy and education, as well as income per person 

Explanation:

The problem with the original sentence is the list: It is missing an "and," and we must find the right place for it. We can only have a list in the vein of "a, b, and c" when we intend the items to have equal weight. Otherwise we can have a list such as "a and b, as well as c" to denote that the first two items are to be taken together. But we cannot have a combination of the two lists in the form of "a, b, as well as c." Nor can we have "a and b and c." This is answer is best, as it also avoids an unnecessary "its."

Example Question #14 : Correcting Conjunction 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 analysis both fascinated Amy and it showed her that there was another side to the story.

Possible Answers:

The analysis both fascinated Amy, and showed her that there was another

The analysis both fascinated Amy, and it showed her that there was another

The analysis both fascinated Amy; and it showed her that there was another

The analysis both fascinated Amy and it showed her that there was another

The analysis both fascinated Amy and showed her that there was another

Correct answer:

The analysis both fascinated Amy and showed her that there was another

Explanation:

Correlative conjunctions must conserve the parallel structure of the items in the sentence. In this case, we need "fascinated" and "showed" to be conjugated in the same way. The latter cannot be treated as an independent clause (i.e., "it showed") when we use words like "both" because it would not make sense as a stand-alone sentence (i.e., "The analysis both fascinated Amy").

Example Question #15 : Correcting Conjunction 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 the economic theory of Adam Smith nor Karl Marx are adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Possible Answers:

Neither the economic theory of Adam Smith nor that of Karl Marx are adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Neither the economic theory of Adam Smith nor that of Karl Marx is adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Neither the economic theory of Adam Smith nor Karl Marx is adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Neither the economic theory of Adam Smith or Karl Marx is adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Neither the economic theory of Adam Smith or that of Karl Marx is adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Correct answer:

Neither the economic theory of Adam Smith nor that of Karl Marx is adequate to describe the complexities of the modern economy.

Explanation:

When using "neither . . . nor" with singular nouns, the verb of the sentence must be conjugated to agree with a singular noun. Also, you must make sure that you are making "apples to apples" comparisons. Some of the answer choices compare the theory of Adam Smith to Karl Marx (the person), not to Karl Marx's theory, which would be the correct way to make the comparison.

Example Question #16 : Correcting Conjunction 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 remarkable thing about the new service was that it not only shortened wait times but also provides better service for customers.

Possible Answers:

not only shortens wait times but also provides better service for customers.

not only shortened wait times but it also provides better service for customers.

not only shortened wait times but also provides better service for customers.

not only shortened wait times for customers but also provides better service.

not only for customers shortened wait times but also provides better service.

Correct answer:

not only shortens wait times but also provides better service for customers.

Explanation:

The correlative conjunction phrase that is underlined in the sentence does not feature parallel verb forms, using the past tense "shortened" and the present tense "provides." Any correlative conjunction phrase needs to feature a parallel structure with each verb being in the same tense. The only answer choice which has the correct parallel structure is "not only shortens wait times but also provides better service for customers."

Example Question #17 : Correcting Conjunction Errors

Neither the ringing alarm clock or the crowing rooster were enough to rouse Old MacDonald from his slumber. 

Which option best replaces the underlined portion of the sentence?

Possible Answers:

Neither the ringing alarm clock and the crowing rooster

Either the ringing alarm clock or the crowing rooster

Either the ringing alarm clock nor the crowing rooster 

Neither the ringing alarm clock or the crowing rooster

Neither the ringing alarm clock nor the crowing rooster 

Correct answer:

Neither the ringing alarm clock nor the crowing rooster 

Explanation:

Neither always goes with nor, and either always goes with or. Neither neither nor either go with "and."

Example Question #18 : Correcting Conjunction 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.

Just as "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, so too is there no evidence that his mentor Ambrose is responsible for the saying "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."

Possible Answers:

Just as "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, so too is there no evidence

While "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, so too is there no evidence

While "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, but there is no evidence

Just as "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, and there is no evidence

While "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, and there is no evidence

Correct answer:

Just as "he who sings, prays twice" cannot be properly attributed to Augustine, even if similar statements can be found in his sermons, so too is there no evidence

Explanation:

"Just as . . . so too" is the proper form of the correlative conjunction in this instance, establishing the relationship (one of similarity) between the two examples mentioned in the passage.

Example Question #19 : Correcting Conjunction Errors

The two hour delay caused problems not only for Buckley, and Ronnie as well. 

What option best replaces the underlined portion of the sentence?

Possible Answers:

not only for Buckley, also Ronnie. 

not only for Buckley, but also for Ronnie. 

not for Buckley, but also for Ronnie.

not only for Buckley and Ronnie. 

not only for Buckley, but also for Ronnie as well. 

Correct answer:

not only for Buckley, but also for Ronnie. 

Explanation:

"Not only" is a conjunction that always correlates with "but also;" furthermore, "but also" is sufficient, adding "as well" on top of that is needlessly repetitive. 

Example Question #17 : Correlative Conjunction 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 Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights, the heroine, Catherine, must choose between true love or social preeminence.

Possible Answers:

the heroine, Catherine, must choose between true love or social preeminence.

the heroine, Catherine, must choose between true love and social preeminence.

the heroine, Catherine, must have chosen between true love or social preeminence.

the heroine, Catherine, must have to be choosing between true love either or social preeminence.

the heroine, Catherine, must make a choice between true love or social preeminence.

Correct answer:

the heroine, Catherine, must choose between true love and social preeminence.

Explanation:

Only answer choice "the heroine, Catherine, must choose between true love and social preeminence" correctly uses "and" with the preposition "between."

The other answer choices, including the original text "the heroine, Catherine, must choose between true love or social preeminence," contain an incorrect idiomatic expression. When we have "between," we typically need the word "and"—rather than "or"—to separate the entities that follow.

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