Some of our best students have their grammar rules down pat. They can talk for hours about adjective clauses, dangling modifiers, gerunds, and the subjunctive, but they’re so busy checking to make sure that all the sentence parts fit into place that they forget to read the sentence for meaning. Consider this example:
Most studies approximate that 70 percent of individuals with an amputation experience phantom sensations in the amputated limb, often in the form of pain that is identical to the pain that they typically experienced when the limb was still attached to the body but contorted in an unnatural position.
(A) that is identical to the pain that they typically experienced when the limb was still attached to the body but
(B) that is identical to the pain that they typically experienced when that limb was still attached to the body but that was
(C) that was identical to the pain that they typically experienced when the limb was still attached to the body but was
(D) identical to the pain that they typically experienced when that limb had still been attached to the body but that had been
(E) identical to the pain that they would...
GMAT Sentence correction tests the use of a preposition at the end of the sentence. From our school days, we are taught that this is a violation of Basic English grammar. But a common mistake that we make while spotting prepositions at the end of the sentence is our inability to differentiate between proposition & a phrasal verb.
Preposition as the name suggests is pre-position. It comes before a noun or a pronoun and connects to another word. However, there are exceptions where preposition comes after a noun or a pronoun.
Before we go into the usage of a preposition and how it changes the definition of these words from ‘preposition’ to ‘Phrasal Verb’, here is a list of some of the common Preposition:
Modifiers are words or phrases that modify the subject. Common GMAT Sentence correction modifiers are phrases. You rarely see a word modifying the subject, unless it is the use of “only”, “almost”, and other adverbs.
1) Misplaced Modifiers
Misplaced modifiers are easy to spot, and test takers should master this concept before learning the nuances of GMAT Sentence correction.
Shortcut: Distance between Modifier and Subject & Distance of Subject after Comma
The easiest misplaced modifiers to spot are the ones where the distance between the subject and the modifier is suspiciously wide. The biggest giveaways for such sentences are the elements that come after the coma.
For Example: Climbing up the hills surrounding Avalanche Lake, flowers greeted us with their serene beauty.
The sentence sounds poetic, but there is a glaring error in the sentence.
Modifier: “Climbing up the hills”
Distance: 5 words
Distance of Subject after Comma: 2 Words
Elements coming after coma (,): Flowers (Object)
The modifier is not modifying the...
The question of using I or “Me” - the subject or the object has bemused even the best of the writers. The Authors of classic literature have made this mistake while other modern day writers have unknowingly mixed it up. Luckily, there is an easy way to check the rule, and spot errors in GMAT Sentence Correction.
Are you going to watch the IPL with her and I?
If the sentence sounds awkward, you are on to something.
Isn’t the sentence correct?
The subject here is my friend and I - both are addressed in the subject form “You” & “I”, but why does the sentence sound iffy?
For the native English speaking test taker, the error is obvious; “I” should be replaced with “me”
Correct: Are you going to watch the IPL with her and me?
Those who are yet to be convinced with the usage of “me” over “I,” follow the “Split the And” Rule.
Split the And Rule
With this rule, the sentence is split just before ‘and’ and rephrased with one subject or object.
The sentence Are you going to watch the IPL with her and I?...
“Whom vs Who” is a commonly tested concept in GMAT Sentence correction. Some experts advice test takers to listen to the sentence while others advice to focus on the ‘subject’. This rule is partly correct, but in a sentence with multiple potential subjects, applying the rule consistently is a challenge.
We have decoded the ‘Whom vs Who’ quandary with a simple formula that we picked up from Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs.
Whom = Him = Her
Who = He = She
Remember this formula, replace the sentence, and then check if the sentence is correct.
Example: Who did you talk to?
Steps to check ‘Whom vs Who’ Formula
1) Applying the formula, replace “Who” with “He” or “She”
He did you talk to?
She did you talk to?
2) Rearrange the words to make sense
Did you talk to he?
Did you talk to She?
3) Check if the sentence sounds correct
Did you talk to he?
Possessive pronouns aren’t one of the biggest issues tested on the GMAT, but they do appear sometimes, and understanding them can not only potentially boost your Verbal score but can also make you a better writer, which will help in your AWA and your business school application process.
Just like other pronouns, possessive pronouns must have a clear antecedent, and must agree with that antecedent in gender and in number. There are a few tricky rules that come into play with possessive pronouns that you don’t see elsewhere, however.
1.No apostrophes needed
Turning a singular noun into a possessive noun usually involves the use of an apostrophe. For example, you might say “my neighbor’s car.” “Neighbor” is the noun, and to make it clear that the car belongs to your neighbor, you add an apostrophe and an “s”. If we replace “neighbor’s” with “his,” though, we don’t need an apostrophe to indicate possession. People often become particularly confused by the possessive form of one specific pronoun: it. The rule is...
It’s important to make sure that whenever you compare two things, those things are similar enough to make a comparison appropriate. For example, if you and a friend are both preparing for the GMAT, but your friend has the luxury of studying full-time while you have a job and a family competing for your attention, it’s not appropriate to compare your score improvements with those of your friend. Doing so would be an example of what is idiomatically called “comparing apples to oranges.”
The same thing is true on GMAT Sentence Correction questions. When items are being compared, they must be “apples to apples,” or parallel. For instance, take a look at the following example of a comparison:
Unlike most business students at her school, who attended classes full time, Carla’s schedule was so full that she could only attend part-time.
The sentence as written compares “most business students” to “Carla’s schedule.” Schedules are things, and business students are people; this is an apples-to-oranges comparison. In order to correct it, we should put the items being compared into parallel form, like this: