# Kaplan GMAT Sample Problem: Sentence Correction, Parallel Structure

- Sep 1, 06:00 AM Comments [0]

The following GMAT sentence correction problem focuses on parallel structure. Remember, items in a list must be formatted in the exact same way in order to be correct on the GMAT.

Problem:
The threatened railway strike would cause significant inconvenience to the city: not only do thousands of commuters rely on trains to get them to and from work, but also as a connection between other forms of public transportation, such as buses and subways.
(A) not only do thousands of commuters rely on trains to get them to and from work, but also as a connection between
(B) thousands of commuters rely on trains not only to get them to and from work, but also to connect with
(C) thousands of commuters rely not only on trains to get them to and from work, but also as a connection with
(D) not only thousands of commuters going to and from work rely on trains to get them there, but also to connect with
(E) thousands of commuters rely on trains, not only for getting them to and from work, but also as a connection between

Solution:
The construction “not only…but also” is fairly common on sentence correction problems – usually the GMAT tests that you know the phrase “not only” must be followed by the phrase “but also.” However, in the problem above, all five answer choices include both the phrase “not only” and the phrase “but also.” In this case, it is also important to know that the words that come after “not only” must be parallel with the words that come after “but also.”

In the original sentence, “not only” is followed by “do thousands of commuters,” while “but also is followed by “as a connection.” Because “do thousands of commuters” and “as a connection” are not in parallel form, (A) is incorrect.

In option (C) “not only” is followed by “on trains,” whereas “but also” is followed by “as a connection.” Again, this is not parallel and (C) can be eliminated. Furthermore, (C) makes it seem as if commuters rely on something besides trains, which is not the intention of the sentence.

In choice (D) “not only” is followed by “thousands of commuters,” while “but also” is followed by “to connect with.” Additionally, (D) implies that someone besides commuters are taking the train, which is not what the author is trying to say. Thus, (D) should be eliminated.

(E) follows “not only” with “for getting them to” and “but also” with “a connection between.” Just as has been the case with the previous three answers, (E) is not parallel and, therefore, incorrect.

We are left with choice (B) as the correct answer. In (B) “not only” is followed by “to get” and “but also” is followed by “to connect.” Since these are in parallel form, (B) can be selected.

~Bret Ruber