Home




Learn when Diction Impacts Grammar in GMAT Sentence Correction Questions

Tone Diction GMATAs you may know, diction refers to word choice. Usually, we use the term “diction” to describe an author’s tone or style - rarely does word choice have an effect on grammar. In some cases, though, it does. The GMAT Sentence Corrections will test you only on those occasions when word choice affects grammar, not when one word will be more effective than another.

1. Adverbs vs. Adjectives

While the subject of adverb usage may deserve its own category, the topic can be included under diction. Simply put, an adverb (those words that often end in ly) describes a verb, adjective, or another adverb, while an adjective describes a noun.

Adverb usage is the reason we say “I did well on my test” and not “I did good on my test;” well is an adverb while good is an adjective.

Example 1. Scientists dream of one day creating armies of nanobots, tiny robots smaller than a cell, that can enter the human body and use their practical unlimited access to find and repair defects in bodily structures.

A. practical unlimited access to find and repair defects
B. practical unlimited access to finding and repairing defects
C. practically unlimited access to find and repair defects
D. practically unlimited access for finding and repairing defects
E. practically unlimited access for finding defects and repairing them

Here, we are trying to describe the adjective “unlimited” with the adjective “practical,” which is incorrect. To describe an adjective, we should use the adverb “practically,” so we can quickly eliminate A and B. Upon closer inspection, we can eliminate D and E because each uses the idiomatically incorrect phrase “use *noun* for finding” rather than the correct version “use *noun* to find.” C is our answer.

2.Quantity

Quantity words include “many,” “less,” “fewer,” “much,” etc. Some quantities are countable, that is, things that can be counted (persons, pizzas, pens), and some quantities are not countable (e.g. courage, care, calcium).

The words fewer, many, and number are used for countable nouns.
The words less, much, and amount/quantity are used for uncountable nouns.
In a classic example of incorrect quantity usage, think of the express line at the supermarket labeled “ten items or less.” Believe it or not, the phrase “ten items or less” violates the quantity rule. Since “items” are countable, we should use the word “fewer,” as in “I have fewer items than you.”

Example 1:

Countable: I have many books; you have fewer books than I. I have a higher number of books than you.

Uncountable: I have less courage than you; I wish I had as much courage as you do. The amount of courage you have amazes me.

Example 2. School administrators face a peculiar challenge in their quest for cultural inclusiveness; official recognition of the growing amount of religious holidays means less days are spent in school.

A. of the growing amount of religious holidays means less days are spent in school
B. for the growing number of religious holidays means less days are spent at school
C. for the increasing amount of religious holidays mean fewer days are spent in school
D. of the increasing number of religious holidays mean fewer days are spent in school
E. of the growing number of religious holidays means fewer days are spent in school

First, we should notice that ‘days’ is a countable noun, so “less” should be replaced with “fewer.” Second, we should notice that “holidays,” like “days,” is countable, so “amount” should be replaced with ‘number.” Choice D and E are the only ones that make these changes. You’ll have to notice that D contains a subject-verb agreement error in using “mean” - the subject is ‘recognition,’  a singular noun. E is our answer.

3.Comparison Words

Comparison words are determined based on the number of items compared. With comparison words, you must choose between better and best, between and among, less and least, and more and most.

For two items use better, between, less, and more.

For three or more items, use best, among, least, and most.

1. I choose between my two best friends, but I choose among my three favorite books.

2. My accounting skills are better than Dan’s, but they are the best among the entire department.

3. Between John and me, I am the less successful employee, but out of all my coworkers, I am the least successful employee.


Author : 

Grockit, an online test prep game, is the smartest way to study for your test. It's adaptive, fun and finds the right teacher for you. Grockit’s analytic capabilities and adaptive technology identifies students' strengths and weaknesses, focusing the student's study time.  Students can practice in adaptive solo games, play social learning games with peers, and work with experts that match their specific needs.

Top 31 MBA Programs + Analysis of 24 Industries (United States)


We analyze the MBA Curriculum, Class Profile, Total Cost and Post-MBA Salary of Top 31 MBA programs in the US.

+ Industry Trends

+ Future of Aerospace, Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Automobile, Clean Tech, Education, Energy, Fashion, Financial Services, Insurance, FinTech, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Military, Manufacturing, Maritime, Media/Advertising, Technology, Tourism, Trade, Transportation and Logistics, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR).


Pages: 327

Reviews

"I have not reviewed many books for MBA Admission consulting companies but doing it now to give all applicants a brief idea on what the book covers. The book includes 31 top MBA programs - almost all the top schools you have heard or considering for your MBA application. Each chapter is categorized by US States where there is at least one top MBA program. So you have California and Massachusetts with the most number of MBA programs and several states with one top program (Washington, Minnesota, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland) and other states with two to three MBA programs. The book focuses on four aspects of an MBA program - curriculum, cost, class profile and post-MBA salary. For me, the breakdown of the cost and post-MBA industry was useful to make my decision on selecting the top 5 programs for 2017-18. It is a fascinating read in an industry where consultants overprice for their expertise. I recently bought a 30-page guide for $49. Compared to the obvious observation in that book, the 300+ page, MBA in US - the Ultimate guide is a goldmine of information and analysis." - Verified Purchase (21st June 2017)

"I bought the ultimate guide after a friend recommended it for me. The guide covers a lot of ground on the history of each prominent US states and goes into the reasons why a certain industry emerged from each state. In addition to the analysis of the economy, trends and expected changes in the next 5 years, the book features top MBA programs in each state with an extensive study of its curriculum. Ultimate guide is an essential reference book for MBA Applicants if they want to shortlist MBA programs based on value and cost, and not just ranking. " - Verified Purchase (14th June 2017)

"Should be a required reading before applying for an MBA. School events and MBA Tours are PR events disguised as a Q&A. On the contrary, the book is an unbiased analysis of each Top MBA program in the US supported by a large dataset and historical context on each industry. The guide builds a case for indstries that are likely to emerge as favourite for MBA graduates. Thorough and a valuable book." - Verified Purchase (15th June 2017)

"What I liked: The breadth of the information. Some of my favorite nonfiction books have taken the same approach as the ultimate guide have - cover background information in-depth. In the book, the author uses parallel threads to demonstrate the history of the state and the rise of industries. Will make you think how schools thrive based on the policy set by the state. California's obsession with Technology has revolutionized how we do Business and changed post-MBA trends. Many MBA applicants will be consulting or doing marketing for a Technology company. That is one key finding from the book. The latest development in AI, FinTech, and Automation is an additional context that I found valuable in the book.

Very informative. I would recommend that you read the book at least once in chronological order before using Table of Contents." - Verified Purchase (2nd July 2017)

Download How to Choose the Best MBA in US: The Ultimate Guide
(2018 Entering Class)

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter