Error types in GMAT Sentence Correction:
- You need to go out for a dinner.
- You need to eat a pizza for a dinner
In which case will you be clearer about the directions to the desired restaurant?
Obviously the second case. Same is the case with the Sentence Correction questions. It becomes a lot easier for us if we know the error that we a looking for in a question. In this article, we will cover the various errors that are tested on the SC questions in the GMAT.
The following is a list of the errors that are tested over and over again on the GMAT.
- Meaning: This should be the starting point of any GMAT Sentence Correction question. You need to understand the meaning of the sentence first before you dive in to find the nitty-gritties of the grammar. The meaning errors can be broken in two broad categories:
- Improper Predication: The subject and the predicate should be logically linked.
Example: The main job of the police is thieves.
This sentence incorrectly implies the main job of the police. The main job is in fact to catch thieves.
- Redundancy: This here is another error which is tested a lot on the GMAT.
Example: Raj reverted back the changes he did to the program.
In this case, revert in itself points to rolling back, hence revert back is redundant.
- Modifiers: On the GMAT, modifiers can be tested in two ways: either they are tested explicitly or they act as a shield to screen other errors on the sentence. With the modifiers, we need to identify the subject and make sure that the modifier is logically talking about the subject. Modifier is always a dependent clause. It can never be an independent clause.
There are multiple modifiers
- Verb-ing modifier
- Verb-ed Modifier
- Noun Modifier
- Singing a popular number, Sunita mesmerized all of us in the concert.
- Kept at the corner of the room, rock was glittering
- MK Gandhi, father of nation, is highly regarded in India.
Remember: Noun Modifier should be placed as close as possible to the modifier
- Pronouns: The pronoun errors are relatively simple to identify and can be a great starting point in a SC question. The primary errors are: Agreement errors and reference/antecedent errors.
- Agreement Errors: The pronouns must agree in number to its antecedent.
Example: The dodo has been long extinct and their fossils are a great source of information.
In this case, we are talking about singular dodo, hence we need its, not their.
- Antecedent Errors: Simply said, the pronoun should clearly have an antecedent.
Example: Max and Oliver were walking besides the lake, and suddenly he dived into it.
We have no clue who dived. Max or Oliver. Hence we need to have a clear antecedent.
- Subject Verb Agreement: In simple words, plural subject should have plural verbs and singular subjects should have singular verbs. In many cases, the subject and the verb will be placed far away in the sentence. In such cases, it is of paramount importance that we identify the subject and the accompanying verb before moving ahead.
Example: Each year, the number of applicants going for an MBA are increasing.
In this case, we have a singular subject “the number”. Hence we need a singular verb “is”.
The correct sentence would read: Each year, the number of applicants going for an MBA is increasing
- Comparisons: These are one of the test makers’ most favorite error and are quite difficult to identify. These are the errors that we use in our daily use, hence they are likely to be missed by us. In a sentence, the comparison should be logical and in an equivalent form. We need to make sure that we are compares apples to apples and not apples to oranges.
Example: The weight of Harry is more that Ron.
Here we are incorrectly comparing the weight of Harry with Ron. Whereas we need to compare the weight of Harry with the weight of Ron.
The correct sentence would read: The weight of Harry is more that Ron’s weight.
- Past Perfect Tense: This is again one of the test makers’ favorite. Simply understand: we use past perfect tense for an even that has occurred before an event in the past. Do not use past perfect tense when talking about a single event in the past.
- Parallelism: Always keep this rule in mind “when the answer choices in a question present a series of elements in different ways, always chose the option that keeps all the elements in the same form”
Example: John likes basketball, cricket and to play badminton
In this sentence, the three elements: basketball, cricket and to play badminton are not parallel.
The correct sentence would read: John likes basketball, cricket and badminton.
Now that you have understood the various errors on the Sentence Correction questions, try to implement them on the questions.
You can read about the grammar terminologies used in a sentence correction question here
Do let us know if you want clarifications on any particular type. You can write to us at email@example.com