Test: Verbs- 2


15 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Verbs- 2


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QUESTION: 1

While the stock market was bouncing back from its 2002 low, U.S. families are still reeling from the recent recession; between 2001 to 2004, typical household savings plummetednearly 25% and the median household debt rose by a third.

Solution:

In the original sentence, "While the stock market was bouncing back" implies that something else was taking place simultaneously in the past, but the rest of the sentence is in present tense ("U.S. families are still reeling"). In addition, the phrasing "between 2001 to 2004" is incorrect; the correct idiom is either "between X and Y" or
"from X to Y" (and, in this case, we must use "from X to Y" since only the first word is underlined).
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) "While the stock market bounced back" implies that the next action took place simultaneously in the past, but the next verb ("are still reeling") is in the present tense. In addition, this is a run-on sentence; the comma after the word "recession" should be a semi-colon.
(C) This sentence incorrectly uses "between X to Y." The correct idiom must be "from X to Y."
(D) CORRECT. This choice remedies the mis-matched tenses by pairing the present perfect "has bounced back," which indicates an action began in the past and has continued into the present, with the present tense "are still reeling." In addition, it uses the correct idiom ("from X to Y").
(E) "While the stock market bounced back" implies that the next action took place simultaneously in the past, but the next verb ("are still reeling") is in the present tense.

QUESTION: 2

If the new department store would open by Thanksgiving, it will be attracting many holiday shoppers.

Solution:

One problem with this sentence is that the first clause of an “if x, then y” sentence should not contain the conditional verb “would”. The other problem is that the tense of the second clause is incorrect. This is an “if x, then y” sentence in which the first clause concerns a possible future event, and the second clause concerns a predicted consequence of that event. The first clause should therefore be in the present tense, and the second clause should be in the simple future tense (“it will attract”).
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The first clause of this version is incorrect because: (1) it still contains "would", and (2) there is no good reason to use the passive voice ("be opened") here. The second clause is incorrect because it changes the meaning of the sentence by saying that the store would merely "be able to" attract holiday shoppers.
(C) "If it was opening" is always incorrect. For a possible future event in an "if" clause, you should normally use the present tense and the indicative mood: "If it opens". [If you wanted to indicate skepticism about the possibility that the store will open, you could use the subjunctive mood. But the correct way to do that would be to say "If it
opened" or "If it were to open" or "If it were opening".] The second clause of this sentence is also incorrect, as explained in (B).
(D) "If it was to open" is always incorrect. As noted for (C), you should normally say "If it opens". [If you wanted to change the meaning of the sentence, which is not a good idea in sentence correction problems, you could use the subjunctive mood. But the correct way to do that would be to say "If it opened" or "If it were to open" or "If it were
opening".]
In the second clause, "also" is unnecessary and somewhat illogical. The action in the second clause will happen, if it happens at all, as a later result of what happens in the first clause. The word "also" contains a suggestion of simultaneity that is inappropriate in this context.
(E) CORRECT. We now have a correct “if x, then y” sentence, in which the first clause is in the present tense and the second clause is in the simple future tense.

QUESTION: 3

The recent global boom in the market price for scrap steel and aluminum leads to a suddenrise in the theft of everyday metal objects like manhole covers, guard rails, and empty beerkegs.

Solution:

The phrase “recent global boom” describes something that began in the past and is continuing into the present; hence, the present perfect tense “has led” is more appropriate than the simple present tense “leads.” In addition, “such as” is preferred to “like” when introducing examples.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The singular subject “boom” does not agree with the plural verb “have led.” (C) The meaning of the sentence has changed because this choice states that the number of “thieves” has increased rather than the number of “thefts.” In addition, “such as” is preferred to “like” when introducing examples.
(D) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the present perfect tense “has led” to indicate that the boom began in the past and is continuing into the present, and also to properly indicate that the boom started before the rise in theft. In addition, “such as” is preferred to “like” when introducing examples.
(E) The present perfect tense “has led” is more appropriate than the present progressive tense “is leading” because although the present progressive indicates an action or state that is continuing, it does not properly indicate the relative time sequence of the boom and the subsequent rise in the theft of metal objects.

QUESTION: 4

With government funding for the arts dwindling, even major orchestras would feel thepressure of trying to meet their payroll and travel costs over the past several years.

Solution:

The sentence makes clear that the timeframe in question is "the past several years." Since the action began in the past but continues to the present, the appropriate tense is the present perfect (for example, "have walked", "have eaten",
etc.)
(A) This choice incorrectly uses the conditional tense "would feel," which is inappropriate here to indicate an actual occurrence.
(B) This choice incorrectly uses the future tense "will feel," which is inconsistent with the past and present nature of the event.
(C) CORRECT. The present perfect "have felt" correctly indicates that that the  orchestras began to feel the pressure in the past and continue to feel the pressure in the present.
(D) This choice incorrectly uses the simple present tense "feel," which does not indicate that the action began in the past and continues to the present.
(E) This choice incorrectly uses the present tense "are feeling," which does not address the past nature of the sentence.

QUESTION: 5

Rust can deteriorate a steel pipe to such an extent that it will snap easily, as though it was a twig.

Solution:

The expression “as though” introduces a supposition that is contrary to fact (the pipe is not a twig). Such suppositions must be expressed in the subjunctive mood. For example, in the phrase "I wish I were rich," the verb "were" is in the subjunctive because the phrase expresses a desire contrary to fact. The appropriate singular
form of the verb “to be” in the subjunctive mood is “were.”
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) “Like” should not be used to introduce the comparative clause “a twig does.” The word “as” should be used instead. "Like" is used to compare nouns only.
(C) The verb “is” is not appropriate for the subjunctive mood. The appropriate singular form of the verb “to be” in the subjunctive mood is “were.”
(D) The verb “was” is not appropriate for the subjunctive mood. The appropriate singular form of the verb “to be” in the subjunctive mood is “were.” In addition, this choice changes the meaning of the sentence. While the original sentence asserts that it is possible for rust to deteriorate a steel pipe to the point where it will snap easily,
this choice asserts only that it is possible for rust to deteriorate the pipe to a point where it might snap, i.e., it implies a somewhat lesser degree of possible deterioration.
(E) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the subjunctive “were.”

QUESTION: 6

Until Antoine Lavoisier proved otherwise in the eighteenth century, many scientists hadbelieved that combustion released phlogiston, an imaginary substance whose propertieswere not fully understood.

Solution:

The past perfect "had believed" is correct because it is the earlier of two past actions (the later action is "proved," which is in the simple past tense). The main clause is correctly written in active voice. The clause "an imaginary substance whose..." correctly modifies "phlogiston."
(A) CORRECT. This choice is correct as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The simple past "believed" is incorrect because it is the earlier of two past actions and should be in the past perfect tense instead: "had believed." Moreover, "was an imaginary substance released by combustion" is
unnecessarily in passive voice.
Finally, the construction "and its properties were not fully understood" is incorrectly parallel with "phlogiston was released by combustion" rather than subordinate to it, as in the original sentence; this also creates
ambiguity around the pronoun "its" which could refer to either combustion or phlogiston. Here parallelism is not needed.

(C) The placement of "phlogiston" immediately after the opening clause incorrectly implies that phlogiston had been imaginary until Lavoisier proved otherwise. Moreover, the sentence is unnecessarily in the passive voice.
(D) This sentence is unnecessarily in the passive voice. Moreover, "was believed" is incorrectly in the simple past tense. It should instead be in the past perfect tense ("had been believed"), because it is the earlier of two past
actions.
(E) This sentence correctly uses the past perfect "had believed" but its construction incorrectly implies that scientists had believed that phlogiston was imaginary.

QUESTION: 7

Many analysts have recently predicted that democratic institutions will develop in China, as the growth of democracy has generally followed industrial development in other countries throughout the 20th century.

Solution:

The non-underlined portion of the sentence utilizes the present perfect tense “have . . . predicted” to indicate that the analysts have and continue to predict the development of democratic institutions in China. In the original sentence, the present perfect tense is also utilized in “has . . . followed” to describe the pattern of democracy following industrial development. However, the sentence clearly refers to the past with the phrase “throughout the 20th century,” making the use of the present perfect tense incorrect, as the activity cannot be continuing if it occurred in the past and ended at the end of the 20th century.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the simple past tense in reference to the pattern of democracy following industrial development in the 20th century, and is otherwise clear and concise.
(C) This choice utilizes the past perfect construction “had . . . followed.” This is ncorrect, as the past perfect tense requires that another action occurred in the later past, as noted by the use of the simple past tense. There is no such later past action in the original sentence.
(D) The simple present tense “follows” is incorrect in reference to a pattern that occurred “throughout the 20th century,” which is in the past.
(E) This choice correctly uses the simple past tense form of the verb. However, here “general” is incorrectly used to modify “industrial development” as opposed to being used to describe the pattern of democracy following industrial development; moreover, the meaning of “general industrial development” is unclear.

QUESTION: 8

The health commissioner said that the government had implemented strict measures toeradicate the contaminated food and, despite the recent illnesses, it will try to prevent theoutbreak from recurring in the future.

Solution:

In the original sentence, the verb "had implemented" is in the past perfect tense, indicating that this event occurred at some point before the commissioner spoke. The verb "will try", however, is in the simple future. When the future is indicated from the point of view of the past, the simple future is not used. Instead, the conditional is required. For example, "The man said that he would buy a new car" is preferable to "The man said that he will buy a new car." We need to find a conditional verb. Moreover, the pronoun "it" begins a new clause and thus requires repetition of "that" in order to make clear, using parallel structure, that this new clause is still something that the commissioner said. For example, "The man said that he would buy a new car and that he would drive it everywhere" is preferable to "The man said that he would buy a new car and he would drive it everywhere."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice does not offer the conditional "would try", though it does offer another "that". The past tense "tried" is definitely wrong here because the trying will happen "in the future" according to the original sentence. Thus this choice changes the meaning unacceptably.
(C) This choice uses the past perfect tense "had tried" where the conditional "would try" is preferred. An extra "that" is needed to make the two clauses "the government had..." and "it had tried" parallel.

(D) This is a tempting choice as it fixes the verb tense to the conditional "would." However, the tense is technically "conditional perfect" (would have tried), which is not the proper tense. Moreover, an extra "that" is needed to make the two clauses "the government had..." and "it would try" parallel.
(E) CORRECT. This choice provides the plain conditional tense and another "that".

QUESTION: 9

In 1860, the Philological Society launched its effort to create a dictionary more comprehensivethan the world had ever seen; although the project would take more than 60 years tocomplete, the Oxford English Dictionary had been born.

Solution:

The past perfect ("had been born") is used when there are two past actions and we want to indicate which one happened first. In the underlined portion of the sentence, however, the other verb, "would take," is not in the past tense, so we need to use the simple past "was born." (Remember that we always use the most simple tenses
allowed; the perfect tenses, and other complicated tenses, are used only when required by the sentence structure.) The second half of the sentence stands in contrast to the first half, in which the simple past "launched" is correctly paired with the past perfect "had seen."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice changes both the first and second verbs to simple past ("took" and "was born," respectively). In this circumstance, we have two events that took place at different times in the past, which requires use of the past perfect to indicate which  event happened first. The dictionary's "birth" obviously happens before its completion, so correct usage would be that the "Dictionary had been born." In B, if it is ‘had been born’, it will become CORRECT.
(C) The present participle "being" is used with the progressive tense to indicate a continuing or ongoing action. Logically, however, the Dictionary's start must have been at a single point in time, rather than over the course of the book's development.
(D) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the simple past "was born." A more complicated past tense is not required because the other verb "would take," is not in the past tense.
(E) This choice incorrectly adopts the construction "was about to be born," which conflicts with the non-underlined portion of the sentence. The first half of the sentence indicates that the project was "launched" in 1860 in the past tense, making any reference to the book being "about to be born" at some future point in time incorrect.

QUESTION: 10

A recent study has cited overcomplexity, increasing worker mobility between companies, andpoor financial planning in estimating that less than half of eligible American workers hadcontributed the maximum amount to their employer-offered retirement plans.

Solution:

The original sentence incorrectly utilizes the past perfect tense in its use of “had contributed.” The past perfect tense demands that the simple past tense also be used in the sentence to refer to another action that occurred in the past but after the action referred to by the past perfect tense. Here, the sentence uses the present perfect
tense “has cited” and the present participle “estimating,” but does not use the simple past tense to refer to another action in the later past.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice is awkward in its use of the structure “Overcomplexity, increasing mobility . . . , and poor financial planning . . .have been cited” as this structure leads to the use of the passive voice, which is less preferable than the active voice. It is also problematic in its use of both the past tense “estimated” and the present perfect tense “have been cited” to refer to the recent study; the verb tenses should be consistent in their treatment of the study.
(C) This choice incorrectly places the modifying phrase “Citing overcomplexity, increasing mobility . . . and poor financial planning” adjacent to “less than half of American workers,” incorrectly suggesting that it is less than half of American workers, and not a recent study, that cites these factors as causes for a lack of contribution to retirement plans. This choice also repeats the original verb tense error with "had contributed."
(D) This choice repeats the original verb tense error with "had contributed."
(E) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses both the present participle (“Citing . . .”) and the present perfect (“has estimated”) to refer to the recent study, as well as the present tense “contribute” in reference to the study findings. The phrase “Citing overcomplexity, increasing mobility . . . , and poor financial planning,” is correctly used here as a modifier for “a recent study.”

QUESTION: 11

Aerugo, also known as verdigris, is the green "bloom" visible on many copper items, and is produced, like iron rust, over the course of time by the exposure of the metal to the oxygen inthe atmosphere.

Solution:

The original sentence correctly uses the passive construction "is produced," which is necessary because of the later construction "by the exposure of the metal to the oxygen in the atmosphere." Changing this verb to the active voice would create an illogical sentence: "Aerugo...produces...by the exposure of the metal to the oxygen in
the atmosphere."
(A) CORRECT. This choice is correct as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) "Produces" is incorrectly in the active voice, making "by the exposure of the metal to the oxygen in the atmosphere" illogical. Moreover, "that" and "which" are unnecessary.
(C) "Produces" is incorrectly in the active voice, making "by the exposure of the metal to the oxygen in the atmosphere" illogical.
(D) "Produces" is incorrectly in the active voice, making "by the exposure of the metal to the oxygen in the atmosphere" illogical. Moreover, both instances of "that" are unnecessary.
(E) "Is produced" is correctly used in the passive voice. However, both instances of "which" are unnecessary.

QUESTION: 12

Though most paper currency was at one time backed by fixed assets such as gold or silver, itnow derives its purchasing power from a declaratory fiat of the issuing government.

Solution:

The original sentence is correct as written. It correctly uses the past tense passive verb form "was backed." In this context, the simple past tense is appropriate since there is no need to indicate any complex time sequence. Further, the passive construction "was backed by" is required to indicate that the currency was supported
by something else: fixed assets.
(A) CORRECT. This choice is correct as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice incorrectly uses the past perfect tense "had been backed." The past perfect form (indicated by the word "had") should only be used in a sentence that contains two past actions or events; the earlier past action takes the past perfect tense, while the later past action takes the simple past tense. In this sentence, there
is only one past event; therefore, the use of the past perfect tense is unnecessary and incorrect.
(C) This choice incorrectly changes the passive construction "was backed by" into the active "was backing," thereby distorting the meaning of the sentence. The original sentence indicated that the currency was backed by the fixed assets, not, as is suggested here ("paper currency was . . . backing"), that the fixed assets were
backed by the currency.
(D) This choice incorrectly uses the past perfect tense and the active voice in the construction "had backed." The past perfect form (indicated by the word "had") should only be used in a sentence that contains two past actions or events; the earlier past action takes the past perfect tense, while the later past action takes the simple past tense. In this sentence, there is only one past event; therefore, the use of the past perfect tense is unnecessary and incorrect. Moreover, the active construction "had backed" distorts the meaning of the sentence. The original sentence indicated that the currency was backed by the fixed assets rather than, as is suggested here ("paper currency had . . . backed"), that the fixed assets were backed by the currency.
(E) This choice incorrectly uses the present perfect tense "has been backed." The present perfect form (indicated by the word "has" or "have") should only be used to indicate an action or event that started in the past and continues into or remains true in the present. Since, according to the sentence, paper currency is no longer backed by fixed assets, the use of the present perfect tense is inappropriate.

QUESTION: 13

Sleeping pills had been showing up with regularity as a factor in traffic arrests, sometimesinvolving drivers who later claim that they have no memory of getting behind the wheel afteringesting the pills.

Solution:

The sentence incorrectly uses the past perfect verb phrase "had been showing up." The past perfect is only used when a sentence involves two past events; the past perfect tense ("had . . .") is used for the earlier past event while the simple past tense is used for the later past event. However, in this sentence there is no second event
that takes place in the past. Therefore, the past perfect cannot be used.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice incorrectly uses the past perfect verb phrase "had been showing up." The past perfect is only used when a sentence involves two past events; the past perfect tense ("had . . .") is used for the earlier past event while the simple past tense is used for the later past event. However, since, in this sentence, there is no second
event that takes place in the past, the past perfect cannot be used. In addition, this choice uses the phrase "as factors in traffic arrests." The plural "factors" is incorrect since "sleeping pills" represent only one factor in traffic arrests.
(C) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the present perfect tense "have been showing up" to indicate an event that started in the past and continues into the present. This choice also correctly uses the phrase "as a factor" rather than "as factors" because sleeping pills constitute only one factor in arrests.
(D) This choice correctly uses the present perfect tense "have been showing up" to indicate an event that started in the past and continues into the present. However, this choice incorrectly uses the phrase "as factors in traffic arrests." The plural "factors" is incorrect since "sleeping pills" represent only one factor in traffic arrests.
(E) This choice correctly uses the present perfect tense "have been showing up" to indicate an event that started in the past and continues into the present. However, the phrase "sleeping pills have been showing up . . . in traffic arrests" nonsensically suggests that the pills themselves have shown up in traffic arrests. In fact, the pills
have shown up as a factor in traffic arrests (while the pills themselves are safely hidden in the driver's stomach).

QUESTION: 14

Although he resisted the assignment, T. E. Lawrence, later known as Lawrence of Arabia,successfully led an Arab uprising against the Ottoman Empire.

Solution:

The original contains a tense error. The past perfect, "Although he had resisted" is correct because it is the earlier of two past actions, as it must have occurred before he led the uprising. Past perfect is used to identify the earliest past time period. All other past time periods should use the simple past.
(A) The original has the aforementioned tense error.
(B) CORRECT. As discussed above, the earlier action uses the past perfect, and the later past event uses the simple past.
(C) This choice incorrectly resolves the tense error, as "had led" is the later past event and "resisted" is the earlier one. Thus, "led" and "had resisted" should be employed.
(D) The expression "was earlier known as T. E. Lawrence" is wordy and makes the meaning less clear. He became "known" (famous) as Lawrence of Arabia rather than by his birth name. Also, making "was known" the main verb of the sentence changes the meaning of the sentence, since now the "although he had resisted" clause is nonsensically contrasted to the main clause: "was earlier known as T. E. Lawrence."
(E) The pronoun "they" has no plural antecedent; pronouns must have a clear reference and agree with that antecedent in number.

QUESTION: 15

Though he had had success broadcasting his controversial radio program on highly regulatedterrestrial airwaves, Howard Stern opted out of terrestrial broadcasting in favor of the lessregulated satellite radio medium.

Solution:

The original sentence correctly uses the past perfect form “had had” to establish a chronology of two past events; it is clear that Howard Stern “had had success” (past perfect) prior to the moment in the past when he “opted out” (simple past) of terrestrial broadcasting.
(A) CORRECT. This choice is correct as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The present perfect form “has had” incorrectly implies that Howard Stern continues to have success broadcasting on terrestrial airwaves, even after opting out of terrestrial broadcasting. The present perfect form is used for events that began in the past and continue into the present; the past perfect "had had" must be used to
indicate the earliest of multiple past events.
(C) The use of the simple past “he had” fails to establish a time-ordering of the two past events; the past perfect form of the verb is needed to indicate that Howard Stern “had had success” (past perfect) prior to the moment in the past when he “opted out” (simple past) of terrestrial broadcasting. Also, “even though” is unnecessarily wordy.
The more concise “though” is preferred.
(D) "Having had" is an accepted alternative past perfect construction and thus is grammatically correct. However, the use of “having had” implies that Howard Stern “opted out of terrestrial broadcasting” as a result of “having had” success with terrestrial broadcasts. The logical meaning of the sentence is that he “opted out”
despite his previous success, not because of it.
GOOD meaning change twist.
(E) "Having achieved" is an accepted alternative past perfect construction and thus is grammatically correct. However, the use of “having achieved” implies that Howard Stern “opted out of terrestrial broadcasting” as a result of “having achieved” success with terrestrial broadcasts. The logical meaning of the sentence is that he “opted out” despite his previous success, not because of it.
GOOD meaning change twist.

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