Test: Idioms- 1


10 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Idioms- 1


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QUESTION: 1

In his anthology of prose pieces titled Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens published several essays that not only vividly depict life on the streets of Victorian London but also focus particularly on the perils faced by children forced to work in factories when their parents were jailed for being unable to repay their debts.

Solution:

In his anthology of prose pieces titled Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens published several essays that not only vividly depict life on the streets of Victorian London but also focus particularly on the perils faced by children forced to work in factories when their parents were jailed for being unable to repay their debts.

Meaning Analysis

  • In his anthology of prose pieces titled Sketches by Boz,
  • Charles Dickens published several essays
    • that
      • not only vividly depict life on the streets of Victorian London
      • but also focus particularly on the perils faced by children forced to work in factories
        • when their parents were jailed for being unable to repay their debts.

This sentence talks about the book Sketches by Boz, which was written by Charles Dickens. He published many essays in the book. These essays do the following:

  1. Not only describe life on the streets of Victorian London.
  2. But also focus particularly on the dangers faced by children who were forced to work in factories when their parents were jailed because the parents were unable to repay their debts.

Error Analysis

1)     The simple past tense verbs “published” and “were jailed” correctly present actions from the past. Note that since these actions are unrelated, there is no need to use the past perfect tense.

2)     The modifier “that” correctly refers to the noun “essays”.

3)     The expression “not only X but also Y” maintains the parallelism. Here, X and Y are both verbs.

4)     The sentence does not have any error. 

Answer Choices

A

several essays that not only vividly depict life on the streets of Victorian London but also focus particularly on the perils faced by children

Correct:         

As discussed in the error analysis, this sentence has no error.  

B

several essays vividly depicting life not only on the streets of Victorian London but also focusing particularly on the perils faced by children who had been

Incorrect:   

1)     The placement of “not only” is incorrect in this choice. It indicates that Dickens’ essays vividly depicted life in two ways. This is not the intended meaning of the sentence.

2)     This choice doesn’t maintain parallelism in the expression “not only X but also Y”. In this expression X and Y should be parallel to each other. However, here “not only” is followed by a prepositional phrase and “but also” is followed by the verb-ing form.

3)     The use of the past perfect tense verb “had been” is incorrect in this choice since there is no related event from the past that took place after this action. Note that the children’s parents were jailed before the children were forced to work in factories. So, “had been forced” is incorrect since this action did not precede the action “were jailed”.

C

not only several essays that vividly depict life on the streets of Victorian London but also focus particularly on the perils faced by children who were

Incorrect:      

1)     This choice distorts the intended meaning of the sentence. As per the original choice, Dickens published several essays that did two things. As per this choice, Dickens himself did two things. He published several essays and also focused on something. There is also a verb tense error in this choice – published and focus should both be in past tense to indicate the two actions done by Dickens.

2)     This choice also has a parallelism error. Here, “not only” is followed by a noun whereas “but also” is followed by a verb.

Note that the simple past tense verb “were forced” is used correctly in this choice to represent an event from the past.

D

several essays that vividly depict life on the streets of Victorian London and that focus particularly on the perils faced by children who had been

Incorrect:      

This choice has the same verb tense error as in choice B.

Note that despite the absence of “not only X but also Y,” this choice correctly uses “and” to connect the two parallel entities. So, there is no meaning or grammatical error in this choice with reference to the parallel items.

E

not only several essays in which life on the streets of Victorian London is vividly depicted but also they focus particularly on the perils faced by children

Incorrect:     

1) This choice changes the intended list of the sentence. 

    • Intended List:
      • Dickens essays depicted…
      • Dickens essays focused
    • List per this choice:
      • Dickens published essays
      • These essays focused on something.

2) This choice has a parallelism error. Here, “not only” is followed by a noun whereas “but also” is followed by a clause.

QUESTION: 2

Creation of applications for things ranging from silly stuff, like virtual watermelon seed spitting, and serious uses, like real-time intensive-care patient monitoring, third-party companies will continue to make the iPhone a force of creative destruction.

Solution:

Answer D

QUESTION: 3

The recent clinical trials conducted at Johns Hopkins University have revealed that the 'collapsed-arch' condition of human feet, the same as the one causing the feet to over-pronate to put strain on the muscles, joints, and tendons of the lower legs, is also providing extra stability that reduces the likelihood of turning or spraining the ankle in a fall. 

Solution:
QUESTION: 4

Just as universal law arises from the principle of  justice, so does the international judge's authority originates from their integrity. 

Solution:

Just as universal law arises from the principle of  justice, so does the international judge's authority originates from their integrity. 

Meaning Analysis  

  • Just as universal law arises from the principle of justice,
  • so does the international judge's authority originates from their integrity.                 

This sentence uses the idiom “just as X, so Y” to make a comparison between two things: the origins of universal law and the origins of an international judge’s integrity. Universal law arises from the principle of justice. Similarly, the authority of international judges comes from their integrity.

 

Error Analysis

1)     The singular form of the verb “originates” is incorrectly used with “does”.  Since “does” is a helping verb, it should be followed by the base form of the main verb: i.e., “originate”. 

2)     The plural possessive pronoun “their” incorrectly refers to the singular possessive noun “the international judge’s”. 

Answer Choices

A

Just as universal law arises from the principle of justice, so does the international judge's authority originates from their integrity. 

Incorrect:          

This choice has the errors pointed out in the error analysis. 

B

While universal law arises from the principle of justice, the international judge's authority originates from its integrity. 

Incorrect:          

This choice uses the pronoun “its”, which refers to the noun “authority”, resulting in illogical meaning - authority’s integrity is non-sensical. 

Alternatively it may be construed that “its” refers to “judge”.  In this case also there is pronoun reference error in that “its” cannot be used to refer to a person “judge”. 

C

Just as universal law arises from the principle of justice, so the authority of international judges originates from their integrity.  

Correct:        

1)     This choice corrects the pronoun error of the original sentence.

2)     It also uses the verb “originates” correctly by removing the helping verb “does”.  

D

Just as universal law that arises from the principle of justice, so also had the authority of the international judge originated from its integrity.    

Incorrect:          

1)     The use of “that” in the first clause leaves the subject “universal law” without a verb.

2)     The past perfect tense verb “had originated” is incorrectly used to present a universal truth.  

3)     This choice has the same pronoun error as in choice B.            

E

Like the authority of the international judge depends on his or her integrity, so universal law arises from the principle of justice.  

Incorrect:                

“Like” is incorrectly followed by a clause. It can compare only nouns. 

QUESTION: 5

Close to its African roots, Frank Manning introduced the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form in the mid-1930s to the Savoy Ballroom and was readily accepted by people due to less rigidity in its movements than the original Lindy Hop.

Solution:

Close to its African roots, Frank Manning introduced the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form in the mid-1930s to the Savoy Ballroom and was readily accepted by people due to less rigidity in its movements than the original Lindy Hop.

Meaning Analysis

  • Close to its African roots,
  • Frank Manning
    • introduced the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form in the mid-1930s to the Savoy Ballroom
    • and was readily accepted by people
      • due to less rigidity in its movements than the original Lindy Hop.

This sentence starts by saying that something was close to its African roots. This part is followed by the name of a person, Frank Manning. Logically, the first part cannot be about Frank Manning since “its” can’t refer to people. So we need to read further to identify what was close to its African roots. The sentence goes on to say that Manning introduced a particular dance form. Now it makes sense that this dance form was close to its African roots.

Next the sentence indicates that Frank Manning was readily accepted by people because of less rigidity.  Per the context of the sentence, it is the dance form that was readily accepted by people.

So, the sentence tells us about the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form, which was close to its African roots:

  1. It was introduced by Frank Manning in the mid-1930s to the Savoy Ballroom, and
  2. It was readily accepted by people because it was not as rigid in its movements as the original Lindy Hop.

Error Analysis

  1. As identified in the meaning analysis, the opening modifier “close to its African roots” illogically modifies “Frank Manning”, since “its” cannot refer to Frank Manning. 
  2. Also, this choice illogically suggests that Frank Manning was readily accepted by people. It was the dance style that was accepted, not Frank Manning.
  3. “Due to” is incorrectly used to present a reason for the actions in the preceding clause. It can only be used to modify nouns.

Answer Choices

A

Frank Manning introduced the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form in the mid-1930s to the Savoy Ballroom and was readily accepted by people due to less rigidity

Incorrect:

This choice has the errors pointed out in the error analysis.

B

the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form was introduced by Frank Manning to the Savoy Ballroom in the mid-1930s and was readily accepted by people because it was less rigid

Correct:

This choice puts “the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form” as the subject of the clause. Now, the opening modifier correctly modifies the dance form. Also, the sentence conveys the meaning that this form was accepted by people.       

C

the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form was introduced by Frank Manning to the Savoy Ballroom and was readily accepted by people in the mid-1930s because of less rigidity

Incorrect:

The modifier “in the mid-1930s” is misplaced. This choice says that the dance form was accepted in the mid-1930s while per the original sentence the form was introduced in the mid-1930s.

D

Frank Manning’s introduction of the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form to the Savoy Ballroom in the mid-1930s was readily accepted by people because it was less rigid

Incorrect:

  1. The opening modifier “close to its African roots” illogically modifies “Frank Manning’s introduction”. It should modify “the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form”.
  2. The introduction of the style was not accepted by the people; the style was. 

E

the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form’s introduction by Frank Manning to the Savoy Ballroom in the mid-1930s was readily accepted by people because it was less rigid

Incorrect:

  1. The opening modifier “close to its African roots” illogically modifies “the Savoy-style Lindy Hop dance form’s introduction”. It should modify the dance form.
  2. The introduction of the style was not accepted by the people; the style was.
QUESTION: 6

John Maynard Keynes, the British economist whose ideas shaped the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, influenced public opinion on critically important areas like monetary policy of the central bank and relative merits of public vs. private investment, thereby advocating a mixed economy.

Choose the correct edited form of the Given passage

Solution:

The correct option is Option C.

John Maynard Keynes, the British economist whose ideas shaped the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics and influenced public opinion on critically important areas such as monetary policy of the central bank and relative merits of public vs. private investment, thereby advocating a mixed economy.

QUESTION: 7

Due to the lack of resources, the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months. 

Solution:

Due to the lack of resources, the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months. 

Meaning Analysis     

    • Due to the lack of resources,
  • the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months.                              

The sentence says that the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months. The reason for this delay is lack of resources.

 

Error Analysis

Use of “due to” is incorrect in this sentence because it has been used to present the reason for the action “could be delayed”.  In such cases, “because of” is the correct idiom to use. This is the only error in the sentence. 

Note that the use of “could” is correct in this context. Although “could” is typically used as the past tense of “can”, it can also be used to indicate the possibility of a future event. Here are some example sentences that illustrate this use of “could”:

  1. I could visit her in the hospital tomorrow.
  2. We could watch a movie after we eat dinner.
  3. Because of heavy rain, today’s exams could be postponed.

Similarly, the given sentence indicates the possibility of a delay in the future. So, “could be delayed” is used correctly.

Answer Choices

A

Due to the lack of resources, the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months.

Incorrect: This choice has the error stated in the error analysis.

B

The reason that the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months is because of the lack of resources.

Incorrect:      

 “Because of” is redundant when used with “the reason”.          

C

Because of the lack of resources, the city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months.

Correct:

This choice is the correct answer as it uses the correct idiom “because of” to state the reason for an action.   

D

The city’s fund-raising project could be delayed by as much as four months due to the lack of resources.

Incorrect:       

This choice repeats the idiom error of Choice A.             

E

The lack of resources could have delayed the city’s fund-raising project by as much as four months.

Incorrect:      

This choice changes the intended meaning. Use of the present perfect verb “have delayed” indicates that the action of “delayed” has already happened and that the sentence is speculating about why the delay could have happened.

QUESTION: 8

Despite the criticism from professional reviewers regarding its lack of dazzle in comparison to what the iPhone 5 would bring, the iPhone 4S was able to bring in customers in droves to buy it, aiding Apple in selling more than twice as many iPhones for the quarter ending in December as it did last year.

Solution:

Despite the criticism from professional reviewers regarding its lack of dazzle in comparison to what the iPhone 5 would bring, the iPhone 4S was able to bring in customers in droves to buy it, aiding Apple in selling more than twice as many iPhones for the quarter ending in December as it did last year.

Meaning Analysis

  • Despite the criticism from professional reviewers regarding its lack of dazzle in comparison to what the iPhone 5 would bring,
  • the iPhone 4S was able to bring in customers in droves to buy it, aiding Apple in selling more than twice as many iPhones for the quarter ending in December
    • as it did last year.                      

This sentence tells us that although professional reviewers criticized the iPhone 4S for the lack of dazzle in comparison to the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S attracted a lot of customers. This helped Apple in selling more than two times the number of iPhones in the December quarter in comparison to what it sold last year in the same duration.

Error Analysis

1)     This sentence has three clauses. The subject verb pairs in all the clauses are accounted for.  

2)     The pronoun “it” correctly refers to the noun “the iPhone 4S”.

3)     The comma + verb-ing modifier “aiding” correctly modifies the preceding clause and makes sense with the subject of the clause.

4)     There is no error in the sentence.  

Answer Choices

A

iPhone 4S was able to bring in customers in droves to buy it, aiding Apple in selling

Correct:

This choice has no errors as pointed out in the error analysis. 

B

iPhone 4S was able to bring in customers in droves to buy it and to aid Apple in selling

Incorrect:

The infinitive form “to aid” incorrectly suggests that the purpose of the iPhone 4S was to aid Apple in selling a number of iPhones. However, per the original sentence the intended meaning is that the fact that the iPhone attracted the customers to buy it resulted in aiding Apple in selling a lot of iPhones.

C

iPhone 4S was able to bring in customers in droves to buy it and it aided Apple to sell

Incorrect:

1)     The pronoun “it” in this choice refers to iPhone 4S.  Thus the part “it aided Apple…” implies that the iPhone 4S aided Apple in selling a number of iPhones. This is not the intended meaning, according to which the fact that the phone attracted the customers to buy it aided Apple.   

2)     The expression “aid to” is unidiomatic in this context. The correct usage is “aid in”.

D

customers came in droves to buy the iPhone 4S to aid Apple in selling

Incorrect:

Two facts stated in this choice distort the intended meaning. 

First of all this choice states that the customers came in droves to purchase the iPhone 4S.  This is a big deviation from the intended meaning, according to which it was the iPhone 4S that was able to bring in customers to purchase it. 

Secondly, it states that the customers did so with an intention to help Apple.  Per the intended meaning, no one had a specific intention to help Apple.  The action of “aiding” happened as a result of the action of customers coming in hoards to purchase the phone. 

E

customers have come in droves to buy the iPhone 4S, aiding Apple to sell

Incorrect:

As Choice D, this choice states that the customers came in droves to purchase the iPhone 4S.  This is a big deviation from the intended meaning, according to which it was the iPhone 4S that was able to bring in customers to purchase it. 

Secondly, this choice uses incorrect verb tense “have come”.  The action of “have come” is already complete per the context of the sentence.  Using present perfect tense is thus incorrect in this context. 

Lastly, this choice has the idiom error pertaining to “aid to” as explained in choice C.

QUESTION: 9

In a poll released September 16, Gallup found that nearly twice as many Americans believe that there is "too much government regulation of business and industry" than those who believe there is "too little" (45% to 24%).

Solution:

Just knowledge of idiom "as many as" can get you to correct answer.
Only B and C follow proper idiom - as many as..
Correct parallelism - as many Americans believe X as believe Y.
Answer - B

QUESTION: 10

The ride quality, handling precision, and power available from a BMW 3 series or a Cadillac CTS-V coupe are not to be found in a run-of-the-mill mass market car, but the gap in capability between the leading contenders in the main luxury segments — compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupesare becoming narrower each year.

Solution:

The ride quality, handling precision, and power available from a BMW 3 series or a Cadillac CTS-V coupe are not to be found in a run-of-the-mill mass market car, but the gap in capability between the leading contenders in the main luxury segments — compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupesare becoming narrower each year.

Meaning Analysis

This sentence presents a contrast between how certain features in high end cars are way better than the economy cars and how the gap in capability among the top competitors is becoming narrower.

This question tests your ability to ensure that correct idioms are used. It also tests your ability to identify SV pairs correctly and ensure that the pair agrees in number. In addition, it tests your ability to understand the intended meaning of the sentence and hence to eliminate the answer choice that does not communicate the same. The question tests your expertise in identifying the subject-verb pairs in the sentence. 

Error Analysis

The original choice has two errors.

1: Idiom – Since the capability gap of multiple companies is being compared, “among” should be used instead of “between”.

2: SV – Number – The subject “gap” is singular and hence singular verb should be used instead of plural “are”. 

Answer Choices

A

but the gap in capability between the leading contenders in the main luxury segments — compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupes— are

The choice has two errors as explained in sentence analysis.

B

but the gap in capability among the leading contenders in the main luxury segments — compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupes— is

 Correct

C

and capability gap among the leading contenders in the main luxury segments — compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupes— is

This choice changes the meaning of the original sentence since the use of "and" to connect the two clauses no longer expresses the contrast as intended.

D

the gap in capability among the leading contenders in the main luxury segments, which are compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupes are

The choice has two errors.

1: Incorrect punctuation - The two clauses are not connected properly. Words such as 'but', 'and' etc.  should be used after a comma to connect two independent clauses. In this sentence, 'but' should be used so that the contrast is expressed properly as intended.

2: SV – Number – The subject “gap” is singular and hence singular verb should be used instead of plural “are”

E

however, the gap in the main luxury segments - compact sedans, sport utilities, performance coupes – and capability among the leading contenders are

This choice changes the intended meaning of the sentence. It states that both the gap in main luxury segments and capability among leading contenders are becoming narrower. However, per the intended meaning, only gap among the leading contenders is being narrower. Also, just a comma has been used to join to two independent clauses. This is incorrect.

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