R13 - Sentence Correction (1/2)
GMAT Sentence Correction: 1. Grammar 2. Meaning 3. Concision
Terms in this set (16)
SC Mental Checklist
1) Subject-Verb Agreement
Subject-Verb Agreement - Technique
(1) Identify the verb first
(2) Identify the subject
(3) Determine the Numerous
- Check for plural trigger words
- Check for content-dependent indicators WAS stolen from my wallet)
- Check for disguised plural nouns
Subject-Verb Agreement - Trigger
• Intervening phrases, which separate subject and verb, are often used to confuse test-takers (if there are a lot of extra words, look for subject-verb-agreement)
• Passive Constructions
o Sentence structures with the verb before subject may indicate an agreement error
o Trap: there are or there is since they place the subject after the verb!
Subject-Verb Agreement - Plural cases
1) "And" - e.g. "Joe AND his friends ARE going to the beach.
2) "A number of" - e.g. "A number of students in this class ARE hard workers."
Subject-Verb-Agreement - Context dependent numerus (Singular vs. Plural)
1) Or, either...or, neither...nor
2) SANAM (Some, Any, None, All, More/most)
3) Fractions / Percents
4) Disguised plural nouns (crisis vs. pl. crises)
Pronouns - Technique
(1) Antecedent existence: Find the pronoun and all nouns (possible antecedents) preceding it
(2) Number/Gender check
(3) Check, if the remaining antecedents agree logically with the pronoun
3.1 Check CASE (do antecedent and pronoun fulfil the same function within their clause, i.e. subject, object or verb; check possessive case in the subject)
3.2 Check POSITION (is the pronoun close enough to its antecedent? Subject nouns make strong antecedents, even for somewhat distant pronouns)
3.3 Check Pronoun CHOICE (right type of pronoun category chosen, i.e. personal, demonstrative, reflexive, or reciprocal pronoun)"see section below
(4) Make sure that every pronoun has only one possible antecedent left after the checks (is unambiguous)
Verbs - Technique
(1) Are all verbs parallel in tense?
(2) Do trigger words or the sentence meaning justify different verb tenses?
- Emphasis on sequence of events
- Emphasis on foreground & background events (different levels of importance) - Emphasis on ongoing nature (ongoing action, ongoing effect)
(3) Voice: If relevant, is passive voice justifiable?
- Is the doer in the non-underlined portion of the sentence preceded by the word "by"? - Is the doer de-emphasized and the action emphasized?
(4) Mood: If relevant, is subjunctive mood justifiable (command or hypothetical)? - Command: Is there an proposal, desire, request or hope expressed?
- Hypothetical: Is there an unlikely or unreal condition expressed?
Modifiers - Technique
(1) What should the antecedent logically be?
Trigger for dangling modifier: Present Participle at the beginning
(2) Is the position of the modifier unambiguous?
(3) Is it the right choice of modifier?
Parallelism - Technique
(1) Identify the parallelism structures
1.1 Comparisons / Contrasts
1.3 Linking verbs
(2) Check for word type consistency
Use the non-underlined portion to tell what the underlined portion must include
2.1 Noun comparison (noun, simple / complex gerund, action noun)
2.4 Adjectives & participles
2.5 Clauses (starting with same relative pronoun)
(3) Check possible ellipses (concision vs. meaning)
Put the omitted pieces back into the sentence to see if the abbreviated version is correct.
Parallelism - Triggers
Not Only/But also
Parallelism - Categories
1) Concrete Nouns (rock, continent)
2) Action nouns & Complex gerunds (erruption, polution etc. & The tracking of satellites)
3) Simple gerunds (Tracking satellites)
4) Working verbs (run)
5) Infinitives (to run)
6) Adjectives & Participles (Only a few feet WIDE but SPANNING a continent)
7) Clauses (A mastodon carcass, which has been thawed only once AND which is still fresh)
Comparisons - Instant Eliminations
1. Like followed by a working verb (only combines with nouns)
2. Like followed by examples (use such as instead)
3. Changing a adverb (ending with -ly) into the comparative form (ending with -er), rather than using more...than
4. Using a comparative adjective (ending with -er) without than
5. Sentence construction with "be to" (e.g. "We are to receive an invitation.")
6. Using other word than "if" to express conditions (e.g. "Should he pass the test,...")
7. A noun in front of a gerund that is not in the possessive case
8. Using greater than to compare a number of objects (rather than numbers only)
Comparisons - Technique
(1) Clearly identify the two parts of the sentence that are being compared to each other.
(2) Do the two parts have perfectly consistent grammatical structures, i.e. do not add or exclude any items?
2.1 Action: Either repeat the verb or use a replacement verb (e.g. do or does)
2.2 Things: Either repeat the noun or use a pronoun (e.g. that or those)
(3) Are the two items compared, logically comparable?
3.1 Does the comparison make sense (e.g. The size of Bavaria is larger than Belgium.)?
3.2 Is the comparison unambiguous?
Meaning - Technique
(1) Check for False friends
- Did the preposition of a word change?
- Were there any word substitutions?
(2) Did the position of a limiting modifier change (e.g. only)?
(3) Does the subject make sense with the verb?
Concision - Technique
(1) Is the same thought expressed more efficiently in one of the remaining alternatives? - Check same word redundancy
- Check for "it is...that"
- Compare remaining answer choices with V-A-N patterns - Check "Being" patterns
(2) Is one of the remaining choices cut too short?
- Is the preposition "of" missing?
- Is a "that" missing, which is demanded for a logical comparison or by a reporting verb?
Concision - VAN Patterns
1) Verb > Action Noun
2) Verb > Adjective
3) That-Clause (with verb) > Series of phrases (with nouns)
4) Adjectives > nouns
5) Adverb > Prepositional Phrase