GMAT Verbal : Correcting Preposition Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Correcting Preposition 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 rumors about the celebrity were the strangest things he ever heard of.

Possible Answers:

The rumors about the celebrity were the strangest things ever.

He heard the strangest rumors about the celebrity.

He heard the strangest things in rumors about the celebrity.

The rumors about the celebrity were the strangest things he ever heard.

The rumors about the celebrity were the strangest things he ever heard of.

Correct answer:

He heard the strangest rumors about the celebrity.

Explanation:

It is incorrect to have a preposition dangling at the end of a sentence. In fact, the preposition "of" is unnecessary in this sentence. "He heard the strangest rumors about the celebrity" is the best answer because it conveys the same idea in the most clear and concise manner.

Example Question #22 : Correcting Preposition 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 forgot whom he should give the message to.

Possible Answers:

He forgot to whom he should give the message.

He forgot whom he should give the message to.

He forgot who he should give the message to.

He forgot who he should give the message.

He forgot to who he should give the message.

Correct answer:

He forgot to whom he should give the message.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. Prepositions should never be at the end of a sentence. The correct choice is, "He forgot to whom he should give the message." Even though people do not speak like this in everyday English, "to whom" is the correct phrasing (Note: the pronoun should be "whom" because it is the object of the preposition "to.")

Example Question #23 : Correcting Preposition 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.

Sandra felt she had no one to talk to.

Possible Answers:

Sandra felt she had no one to talk.

Sandra felt she wasn't speaking to anyone.

Sandra felt she could not talk to anyone.

Sandra felt she had no one to talk to.

Sandra felt she was talking to nobody.

Correct answer:

Sandra felt she could not talk to anyone.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. Prepositions should never end a sentence in English, so the sentence must be reworked in order to remove the mistake. Simply omitting the "to" at the end is not sufficient, however, since the sentence will not make sense once that is done. The correct choice is, "Sandra felt she could not talk to anyone" because it is the closest to the meaning of the original sentence and fixes the error.

Example Question #24 : Correcting Preposition 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.

Angelo had many questions about his new position, but he did not know who he should talk to.

Possible Answers:

about his new position, but he was unsure who should be spoken to about the problems.

about his new position; but he did not know who he should talk to.

about his new position, but he did not know who he should talk to.

about his new position but he did not know who he should talk to.

about his new position, but he did not know to whom he should talk.

Correct answer:

about his new position, but he did not know to whom he should talk.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. A preposition should never end a sentence in English. "about his new position, but he did not know to whom he should talk" is the correct choice, as it fixes this issue. The other choices contain punctuation errors (Note: a comma should be used before "but" because it is joining two independent clauses) or change the action to passive voice unnecessarily.

Example Question #25 : Correcting Preposition 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.

Though Harun has broken many records, he has not yet broken the record he wants to.

Possible Answers:

Though Harun has broken many records, he has not yet broken the record he wants to break.

Though Harun has broken many records, he has not yet broken the record he wants to.

Though Harun has broken many records, he has yet to break the record he wants to.

Though Harun has broken many records, he has not broken the record he wants to yet.

Though Harun broke many records, he has yet to break the record he wants yet.

Correct answer:

Though Harun has broken many records, he has not yet broken the record he wants to break.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. You should never end a sentence with a preposition in standard English. Additionally, "yet" cannot come at the end of the sentence either, since it is a conjunction. The only choice that fixes this issue is, "Though Harun has broken many records, he has not yet broken the record he wants to break."

Example Question #26 : Correcting Preposition 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 company's managers closely monitored which clients the employees talked to.

Possible Answers:

monitored which clients the employees talked with.

monitored which clients the employees talked.

monitored which clients the employees talked to.

monitored which clients the employees were talking with.

monitored to which clients the employees talked.

Correct answer:

monitored to which clients the employees talked.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. Prepositions should never end a sentence in standard English. The only sentence which fixes this issue and makes sense is "monitored to which clients the employees talked."

Example Question #27 : Correcting Preposition 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.

Unfortunately, the message did not reveal who it was from.

Possible Answers:

the message did not reveal who it was from.

the message did not reveal: who it was from.

the message did not reveal who sent it.

the message did not reveal from whom it was sent.

the message did not reveal whom it was from.

Correct answer:

the message did not reveal who sent it.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. The only choice that corrects this error properly is, "the message did not reveal who sent it." Note that the choice that states "from whom it was sent" is in the passive voice (correct choices will always be in the active voice), so it cannot be the correct answer.

Example Question #28 : Correcting Preposition 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.

Lamar was unsure which department he should deliver his work to.

Possible Answers:

Lamar was unsure to which department he should deliver his work.

Lamar was unsure, which department he should deliver his work to.

Lamar was unsure to which, department he should deliver his work.

Lamar was unsure which department he delivers his work to.

Lamar was unsure which department he should deliver his work to.

Correct answer:

Lamar was unsure to which department he should deliver his work.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. Prepositions should never appear at the end of a sentence. Instead of saying "which department he should deliver his work to," it should be "to which department he should deliver his work." The correct choice is, "Lamar was unsure to which department he should deliver his work."

Example Question #29 : Correcting Preposition 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.

She wondered what the next invention would be of.

Possible Answers:

what the next invention would be of.

what, the next invention would be of.

what, the next invention would be.

what the next invention would be.

what, the next invention, would be of.

Correct answer:

what the next invention would be.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition; a preposition should never end a clause in standard English. In actuality, there is no need for the word "of" whatsoever, and all that is needed is to omit it. The correct choice is, "what the next invention would be."

Example Question #30 : Correcting Preposition Errors

Which option best replaces the underlined sentence?

She wondered who the painting was of.

Possible Answers:

She wondered whom the painting was of.

She wondered who was in the painting.

She wondered whom was in the painting.

She wondered who the painting was of.

She wondered who was painted in the painting.

Correct answer:

She wondered who was in the painting.

Explanation:

This sentence contains a dangling preposition. Prepositions should never end a clause. The sentence needs to be reworded. The correct choice is "She wondered who was in the painting" as the other choices either have the dangling preposition or pronoun errors.

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