GMAT Verbal : Correcting Verb Voice Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #41 : Correcting Verb 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 progress of the team was viewed as insufficient.

Possible Answers:

They viewed the team's progress as insufficient.

The team's progress was viewed as insufficient.

The team's progress was considered insufficient.

The progress of the team was viewed as insufficient.

The progress of the team was labelled as insufficient.

Correct answer:

They viewed the team's progress as insufficient.

Explanation:

The phrase "The progress...was viewed" is in the passive voice. The correct choice should always be in the active voice (i.e. the subject of the clause should be doing the action of the main verb). The sentence needs to be reworded. All of the choices but one, however, are in the passive voice. The correct choice is, "They viewed the team's progress as insufficient."

Example Question #42 : Correcting Verb 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 painting was found mesmerizing by the kids.

Possible Answers:

The painting was found mesmerizing by

The painting was found amazing by 

The painting is considered amazing by

The painting, mesmerizing to 

The painting amazed

Correct answer:

The painting amazed

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in verb-voice. The phrase "The painting was found mesmerizing" is in the passive voice. The correct choice should always be in the active voice (i.e. the subject of the clause should always do the action of the main verb). The sentence needs to be reworded. The correct choice is "The painting amazed" as all the other options are still in the passive voice or a fragments.

Example Question #43 : Correcting Verb 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.

Experience is earned with practice and time.

Possible Answers:

Experience earned

Earning experience

You earns experience

Experience is earned

You earn experience

Correct answer:

You earn experience

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in verb voice. The phrase "Experience is earned" is in the passive voice. The correct choice in this case should be in the active voice (i.e. the subject of the clause should always do the action of the main verb) because it is more concise and clear. The sentence needs to be reworded. The correct choice is, "You earn experience" as all the other choices contain fragments, passive voice, or subject-verb agreement errors.

Example Question #504 : 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.

As the suit was finished quickly, that it still needed alterations did not surprise Henry.

Possible Answers:

it still needed alterations, which did not surprise Henry.

Henry was not surprised that it still needed alterations.

because it still needed alterations, which surprised Henry.

it was not surprising to Henry that it still needed alterations.

that it still needed more alterations did not surprise Henry.

Correct answer:

Henry was not surprised that it still needed alterations.

Explanation:

Avoid the passive voice of the original ("it still needed alterations") and choose the simplest answer which preserves the meaning of the original sentence.

Example Question #44 : Correcting Verb 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.

By the time he reached the front of the line, he has realized that he left his wallet at home.

Possible Answers:

 he has realized that he has left

 he realizes that he had left

 he had been realizing that he left

 he has been realizing that he has left

he realized that he had left

Correct answer:

he realized that he had left

Explanation:

Note that the past perfect tense is used to refer to an action (A) which was initiated in the past and completed by the time of another action (B) also in the past. In this case the subject (B) "realized" that he (B) "had left his wallet at home". The other answer choices use active verb tenses such as the perfect progressive inappropriately and do not convey the meaning that is intended. 

Example Question #45 : Correcting Verb 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.

Many individuals around the world read the magazine.

Possible Answers:

Many individuals around the world read

Many individuals, around the world, read

Many, individuals around the world read

Many individuals, around the world read

Many, individuals, around the world, read

Correct answer:

Many individuals around the world read

Explanation:

This sentence contains no errors. "Around the world" is a prepositional phrase that is not separate from the rest of the sentence, so it is not necessary to offset it with commas. Additionally, commas are not used to separate an adjective from the noun it describes, so no comma should appear between "many" and "individuals." The correct choice is, "Many individuals around the world read."

Example Question #46 : Correcting Verb 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.

Having been abandoned by their owners is the cause of salient sadness for dogs.

Possible Answers:

Having been abandoned by their owners is the cause of salient sadness for dogs. 

Abandoned by their owners, a salient sadness is what the dogs feel.

Dogs’ being abandoned by their owners is the cause of salient sadness. 

Dogs' sadness is salient when their owners abandon them.

Being abandoned by their owners, they feel salient sadness. 

Correct answer:

Dogs' sadness is salient when their owners abandon them.

Explanation:

The constructions using “having been” and “being” can be awkward and wordy if injudiciously chosen. Moreover, the dangling modifier in one of the incorrect options does not modify the appropriate noun. The correct answer is clearly articulated and in the active voice throughout.

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