Test Your GMAT Sentence Correction Skills: The Explanations

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Test Your GMAT Sentence Correction Skills: The Explanations

Hopefully you've already tried out our GMAT Sentence Correction quiz. If not, stop right now and do so! There's great value in trying these questions on your own first before reading the explanations.

Now, on to the explanations to these questions...

GMAT Sentence Correction Quiz

Just like Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, so Parliament is the legislative body of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • A) Just like Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, so
  • B) As Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States,
  • C) As Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, in the same way
  • D) Just as Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, so
  • E) Just as the Federal government of the United States' legislative branch is Congress,

Be on the lookout for connectors like "as," "just as" and "like." Here you have to decide which one to use. In everyday speech, this distinction isn't so important, but on the GMAT it is. If you're a native speaker of English, you should be able to use your sense of correct English to tell that "just as...so" is correct. Otherwise, jot down this and other commonly-used GMAT idioms as you come across them, and learn them. Answer choice (D) is correct.

Like most religions, the teachings of Sikhism are codified in a book.
  • A) Like most religions, the teachings of Sikhism are codified in
  • B) Like most other religions, the teachings of Sikhism are codified in
  • C) Sikhism's teachings, like those of most other religions, are codified in
  • D) For their codification, like the teachings of most religions, Sikhism has
  • E) Like those of most religions, Sikhism has codified its teachings in

When you see "like" or "unlike," watch out for faulty comparisons. You can't compare "most religions" to the "teachings of Sikhism." You have to find the choice that compares teachings to teachings or religions to religions. Answer choice (C) uses "those" to stand for "teachings." But in (E), it's not clear what "those" stands for. A pronoun like "those" must refer back to an already-expressed noun, so "those" must follow "teachings." Answer choice (D) also has an unclear pronoun: "their." The correct answer is choice (C).

The company refused to disclose the details of their meeting; rather, they said there would be a press release forthcoming.
  • A) The company refused to disclose the details of their meeting; rather, they said there would be a press release forthcoming.
  • B) The company refused to disclose the details of its meeting; rather, they said there would be a press release forthcoming.
  • C) The company refused to disclose the details of its meeting; rather, it said there would be a press release forthcoming.
  • D) The company refused to disclose the details of its meeting; rather, a spokesperson said there would be a press release forthcoming.
  • E) The company refused to disclose the details of their meeting; rather, a spokesperson said there would be a press release forthcoming.

This sentence has two errors: the incorrect plural modifier "their," and the imbiguous pronoun "they." Choice (A) repeats the same errors and is incorrect. Choice (B) replaces "their" with "its," but fails to correct the pronoun issue. Choice (C) is tempting, except that a company cannot actually say anything; it is an entity, and so "it said" is incorrect. Choice (D) replaces "their" with "its" and specifies a spokesperson as the speaker, making the sentence completely clear. Choice (E) also specifies a spokesperson as the speaker, however it fails to replace "their" with "its". Choice (D) is correct.

In the minds of many scientists, before Harrison Ford was Han Solo or Indiana Jones, he was Rick Deckard, the protagonist of the film Blade Runner, which was recently voted the best science fiction film even in a worldwide poll of scientists.
  • A) before Harrison Ford was Han Solo or Indiana Jones, he was Rick Deckard
  • B) before they were Han Solo or Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford was Rick Deckard
  • C ) during the time before Harrison Ford was Han Solo or Indiana Jones, he was Rick Deckard
  • D) Harrison Ford, who would later portray Han Solo and Indiana Jones, first portrayed Rick Deckard
  • E) Harrison Ford was originally Rick Deckard, before being Han Solo or Indiana Jones,

A vertical scan (of the first couple of words of each answer choice) reveals five very different choices, so you must examine each answer choice. (A) contains no clear errors, though it may seem a bit awkward. (B) incorrectly uses the plural pronoun "they" with the singular antecedent "Harrison Ford". This error is hidden by the insertion of "Han Solo or Indiana Jones". Also note that here the antecedent appears after the pronoun. This is acceptable on GMAT Sentence correction, but (B) is incorrect because of pronoun/antecedent disagreement. Answer choice (C) is unnecessarily wordy. (D) makes the qualifier "In the minds of many scientists" unnecessary and illogical, since Harrison Ford really did portray Deckard before portraying Han Solo and Indiana Jones. (D) is incorrect. (E) creates a misplaced appositive "the protagonist of the film Blade Runner". Like a modifier, an appositive should appear immediately adjacent to its noun. That leaves you with only the sentence as written, which is the best answer. (A) is correct.

Even though the disease has been eliminated in most of Africa, thousands of Sudanese are still in danger of contracting Guinea worm disease, a sometimes-crippling disease spread by the Dracunculus medinensis virus.
  • A) are still in danger of contracting
  • B) are still in danger to contract
  • C) still have a danger of contracting
  • D) are still endangered by contraction
  • E) still have a danger that they will contract

(A) is concise and idiomatically correct. The proper form is "in danger of X'ing". The phrases "in danger to X", "have a danger of X'ing", and "have a danger that they will X" are all unidiomatic, so you can eliminate (B), (C) and (E). Answer choice (D) subtly changes the meaning of the sentence. The original sentence states that thousands of Sudanese are in danger of contracting the disease, meaning that they might contract the disease. (D) suggests that thousands of Sudanese have already contracted the disease, and are thus in danger. This may be true, but it changes the meaning of the original sentence, so you must eliminate it. That leaves (A), which is correct.

Keep practicing!

Questions about GMAT Sentence Correction? Other topics you'd like to see covered in future blog entries? Talk to me in the comments!

The post Test Your GMAT Sentence Correction Skills: The Explanations appeared first on Kaplan GMAT Blog.

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