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Idioms


On the GMAT sentence corrections, an “idiom” is a recognized grammatical construction that is a rule simply because of tradition. The idiom constitutes the ultimate tautology: we say something a certain way because, well, that’s how we say it.

On the test, most of the idioms you will face involve preposition usage. Why do I listen “to” the radio instead of listen “at” the radio? We say “listen to” because that is how English speakers have said it for hundreds of years. We like it that way, and we are not willing to change.

For some test-takers, idiom errors can be the easiest to spot on the exam. To these test-takers, an idiom error sticks out like a sore thumb. When they read something like “listen at the radio,” they hear dissonance. The only way to restore grammatical harmony is to replace the grating “at” with the soothing “to.” Balance is restored.

English as second language

Not everybody thinks this way. For many who learned English as a second language, and even for those who have a purely logical--as opposed to intuitive--understanding of language, idiom errors are extremely difficult to detect. After all, there is no logical explanation for why we say “listen to” instead of “listen at.”...

Categories : Idioms

New research from Johns Hopkins has shown that sustainable weight loss is generally a result not of self-deprivation or adopting an extreme diet, but a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a balanced diet.

A. self-deprivation or adopting an extreme diet, but
B. self-deprivation or the adoption of an extreme diet, but of
C. self-deprivation or the adoption of an extreme diet, but
D. depriving oneself or adopting an extreme diet, but
E. depriving oneself or adopting an extreme diet, but that of

Choice B completes the idiom "a result not of X, but of Y" correctly by inserting the second "of," making sustainable weight loss a result of a healthy lifestyle. Also, "self-deprivation" and "the adoption of an extreme diet" are both nouns, and are treated in parallel fashion.

Answer - Choice B

Categories : Idioms

The bark of a Labrador retriever, although most people think that dogs bark because they are content, is actually involuntary and is not directly related with the emotion of the dog.

A. The bark of a Labrador retriever, although most people think that dogs bark because they are content, is actually involuntary and is not directly related with the emotion of the dog.

B. Although most people think that dogs bark because they are content, the barking of a dog is actually involuntary and is not directly related with the emotions of the dog.

C. Although most people think that dogs bark because they are content, the barking of a dog is actually involuntary and is not directly related to the emotion of the dog.

D. The barking of a dog, although most people think that dogs bark because they are content, is actually involuntary and is not directly related to the emotion of the dog.

E. Although most people think that dogs are barking because they are content, the barking noise of a dog is actually involuntary and is not directly related with the emotions of the dog.

Answer

This question focuses on rhetorical and idiom construction. The placement of although breaks up the...

Categories : Idioms

Recently, debate over if a budget surplus should be applied towards lower taxes or increased spending on welfare initiatives has become a polarizing political issue.

A. over if a budget surplus should be applied towards lower taxes or increased spending
B. over whether a budget surplus should be applied towards lowering taxes or increasing spending
C. about a budget surplus applied towards lower taxes or increasing spending
D. about if lower taxes should come from a budget surplus or spending increases
E. concerning a budget surplus and its application towards lower taxes or increased spending

Answer - Choice B: The idiom should be "debate over whether."

Categories : Idioms

Idioms Not Important GMATThe fact that the GMAT does not require explicit knowledge of idioms is nothing new. Sheer memorization of idiomatic rules is not rewarded on the GMAT test.

If you’ve browsed the GMAT forums and blogs recently, you may have encountered quite a bit of handwringing about the “Next-Generation GMAT” (a legitimate change) and the major changes to Sentence Correction (which are much ado about nothing).  Recently, the Graduate Management Admissions Council held a series of test-preparation industry summits around the world, and the New York event stirred up some internet fervor with the industry’s interpretation of comments made by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of GMAC.  Dr. Rudner mentioned that the GMAT Sentence Correction format does not emphasize or require knowledge of idiomatic rules, and that many questions do feature multiple grammatically-correct answers, but only one grammatically-and-logically correct answer.

These comments have prompted quite a few threads and...




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