Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction


15 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction


Description
This mock test of Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction for GMAT helps you for every GMAT entrance exam. This contains 15 Multiple Choice Questions for GMAT Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction (mcq) to study with solutions a complete question bank. The solved questions answers in this Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction quiz give you a good mix of easy questions and tough questions. GMAT students definitely take this Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction exercise for a better result in the exam. You can find other Test: Warm Up Sentence Correction extra questions, long questions & short questions for GMAT on EduRev as well by searching above.
QUESTION: 1

They were all shocked at his failure in the competition.

Solution:
QUESTION: 2

In a large number of developing countries, regular employment is still elusive to a large proportion of young graduates, like that for their earlier generations

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

This sentence presents comparison. It states that in a large number of developing countries, a large proportion of young graduates are facing the same problem their earlier generations faced: they are not able to find a regular employment.

The question tests your ability to identify the correct comparison and use appropriate grammatical structure to express it.


Error Analysis

Per the intended meaning, we need to say that “regular employment is elusive” to young generation, as the case was with their earlier generations. However, “that” cannot stand for the clause and can either refer to young graduates or regular employment. Neither of the reference leads to a logical comparison

Answer Choices

A. like that for

Incorrect. Errors as identified.

B

like

Incorrect - Illogical comparison – regular employment is compared to earlier generations. It means that “regular employment” is elusive for younger generation. So was “their earlier generation”. This is illogical.

C. as it was for

Correct. Elusiveness of regular employment is compared and "as" is used to compare two clauses.

D

Just as

Incorrect use of "as". When followed by a noun "as" presents function and not comparison. "as earlier generations" implies that "Regular employment" played function of earlier generations. This is illogical.

E

as are

Incorrect - Same illogical comparison between the subject "regular employment" and "their earlier generations".

QUESTION: 3

In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly because of the negligence of the authorities; therefore the waterbodies would soon be such dangerous levels of toxins that supplying potable water to surrounding states will be impossible.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • In the Great Lakes, the blooms of phytoplankton are escalating rapidly because of the negligence of the authorities;
  • therefore the waterbodies would soon be such dangerous levels of toxins
    • that supplying potable water to surrounding states will be impossible.

This sentence says that blooms of phytoplankton are increasing in the Great Lakes very fast. The reason for this rapid increase is the negligence of the authorities. The second part of the sentence says that soon levels of toxins will reach such dangerous levels that supply of drinking water to surrounding states will be impossible.

Notice that the sentence incorrectly states that “waterbodies would be such dangerous levels of toxins”.  This is illogical since waterbodies themselves cannot be levels of toxins.  The logical interpretation is that waterbodies can reach the stated levels of toxins. 

Error Analysis

1)    As pointed out in the meaning analysis, this sentence incorrectly states that waterbodies are themselves dangerous levels of toxins.    

2)    The use of “would” is incorrect in this sentence. Since the sentence is written in the simple present tense, “will” should be used to make a prediction about the future.

Answer Choices

the waterbodies would soon be

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

B

soon there may be

Incorrect:

This choice changes the meaning by now saying that there “may be” increase in levels of toxins, conveying the possibility of this action, but as per the original sentence, this action will definitely take place.

C

it will soon have

Incorrect:

Singular pronoun “it” does not agree in number with its plural antecedent “the Great Lakes”.

D

they may soon be having

Incorrect:

This choice repeats the meaning error of Choice B.  Also, use of future continuous tense is incorrect to present a point in time fact about the future.  

the waterbodies will soon have  

Correct:

This choice corrects the errors of choice A without introducing any new errors.

QUESTION: 4

Glacier and ice patch archaeologists face extreme challenges to find, document, and conserve artifacts when melting ice fails to keep them undetected, shielding them from decay due to changing climatic conditions, and safe from misappropriation.   

Solution:
QUESTION: 5

A new study suggests that different species of mice have different burrow designs: a lab-raised mouse too can build a species-specific burrow due to its genes, carrying various DNA combinations of burrow creation in genome.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • This sentence presents facts.
  • Different species of mice build burrows of different designs.
  • Even a mouse raised in a lab can make a burrow specific to its species.
  • Burrow making is genetic as genes carry DNA combinations of burrow making in every species.


Error Analysis

  • Clause 1: A new study suggests
  • Clause 2: that different species of mice have different burrow design:
  • Clause 3: a lab-raised mouse too can build species-specific burrow due to its genes, carrying various DNA combinations of burrow creation in genome.

1. Use of “due to” is incorrect in this sentence because it has  been used to modify the verb in this sentence, more specifically to present the reason for the verb – how can a lab-raised mouse build species-specific burrow.  “Due to” can only be used to modify a noun and not a verb.

2. The comma + verb-ing modifier “carrying” modifies the preceding clause. This modification does not make much sense as it seems to suggest that mice carry various DNA combinations. Logically, it is the genes in the mice that carry DNA combinations. Hence, we need a modifier that refers to “genes”.

Answer Choices

lab-raised mouse too can build a species-specific burrow due to its genes, carrying 

Incorrect for the reasons stated above.

lab-raised mouse too can build a species-specific burrow because of  its genes that carry 

Correct Answer. It corrects both errors of choice A and does not introduce any other error.

C

mouse raised in the lab builds a species-specific burrow so that its genes carry 

Error 1 – Use of simple present tense verb “builds” is incorrect because the original sentence presents the ability of the lab raised mouse to build species-specific burrow by saying “can build”. This choice suggests that it is a general fact that lab-raised mice make species-specific burrow.

Error 2 – Use of “so that” is incorrect. This phrase is used to present the result of the preceding clause.  This usage distorts the intended meaning.

D

mouse in the lab can build a species-specific burrow as its genes can carry 

Error 1 – “A mouse in the lab” does not mean the same as “a lab-raised mouse”. A mouse in the lab can be just any mouse there and not necessarily the mouse that has been raised there.

Error 2 – Per the original sentence, it is a general fact that “genes” carry various DNA combinations. Per this choice, “can carry” suggests the ability of genes to carry various DNA combinations. This is not the intended meaning.

E

lab-raised mouse too can build a species-specific burrows because of their genes carrying 

Error 1 –Pronoun “their” should logically refer to “mouse”. But grammatically, plural pronoun “their” does not agree in number with the singular noun “mouse”.

QUESTION: 6

Stonehenge, the most famous of the English megalithic monuments, has excited the attention of historians since early times, and according to some medieval historians it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memory of a number of British chiefs whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462, some believe that Ambrosius himself was buried there. 

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • Stonehenge,
    • the most famous of the English megalithic monuments,
  • has excited the attention of historians since early times,    (Cl. I)
  • and according to some medieval historians it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memory of a number of British chiefs    (Cl. II)
    • whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462,     (Cl. III)
  • some believe                (Cl. IV)
    • that Ambrosius himself was buried there.         (Cl. V)

This sentence talks about Stonehenge, which is the most famous of the English megalithic monuments. It gives the following information about the Stonehenge:

1)     Stonehenge has drawn the attention of historians since early times. 

2)     According to some medieval historians, it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memoriam of the British chiefs who were treacherously murdered by Hengist and his Saxons in A.D. 462.

3)     And some historians believe that Ambrosius himself was buried there.

Error Analysis

Two independent clauses “it was erected…” and “some believe…” are joined using just a comma.  Clauses II, and III combined make an independent clause, which is connected with the independent clause IV with just a comma.

Answer Choices

A

Stonehenge, the most famous of the English megalithic monuments, has excited the attention of historians since early times, and according to some medieval historians it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memory of a number of British chiefs whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462, some believe that Ambrosius himself was buried there. 

Incorrect:

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

B

Exciting the attention of the historians since early times and the most famous of the English megalithic monuments, Stonehenge, according to some of the medieval historians, it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memory of a number of British chiefs who Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462, and some believe that Ambrosius himself was buried there. 

Incorrect:

  1. Since the  pronoun “it” is the subject of the verb “was erected,” there is no verb for the subject “Stonehenge”. 
  2. The modifier “who” is incorrectly used here. Since the British chiefs were murdered, they should be referred to in the object form “whom”, not the subject form “who”.  

C

According to some of the medieval historians, Stonehenge, erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memory of a number of British chiefs whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462, and exciting the attention of historians since early times as the most famous of the English megalithic monuments, in which some believe Ambrosius himself may have been buried.

Incorrect:

  1. This choice changes the intended meaning by stating that Stonehenge attracted the attention of historians as the most famous megalithic monument. According to the original sentence, these two facts are independent of each other: 1) Stonehenge is the most famous of the megalithic monuments and 2) it has attracted the attention of historians.
  2. The use of “comma + and” is incorrect here. It is used either to connect two ICs or to join the last element of the list, containing more than 2 elements, to other elements. However, neither of these uses applies here.

 

D

Stonehenge has excited the attention of historians since early times, and according to some medieval historians it was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in memory of a number of British chiefs whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered; in A.D. 462, some believe that Ambrosius himself was buried there as it is the most famous of the English megalithic monuments.

Incorrect:

  1. The modifier “in A.D. 462” is incorrectly placed. It should modify the clause that Hengist and his Saxons murdered someone. 
  2. The reason that Ambrosius was buried in Stonehenge is not that it is the most famous of the English megalithic monuments.        

E

According to some medieval historians, Stonehenge, the most famous of the English megalithic monuments, was erected by Aurelius Ambrosius in the memory of a number of British chiefs whom Hengist and his Saxons treacherously murdered in A.D. 462; it has excited the attention of historians since early times, and some believe that Ambrosius himself was buried there.

Correct:

  1. All the independent clauses in the sentence are properly connected.
  2. The construction of this choice is such that it seems to focus on the description of Stonehenge only. 
  3. Both the parts of the sentence connected by the semicolon have “Stonehenge” as the subject. The pronoun “it” correctly refers back to “Stonehenge”.   
QUESTION: 7

In World War I, the West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office had felt that an operation initiated and funded by external powers supporting the insurgent tribes would be beneficial to the British Empire

Solution:

Meaning Analysis  

  • In World War I, the West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office had felt
    • that an operation
        • initiated and funded by external powers
          • supporting the insurgent tribes
      • would be beneficial to the British Empire.                                 

This sentence tells us that the West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office felt that a certain operation would benefit the British Empire. This operation would be initiated and funded by external powers that supported the insurgent tribes. 

Error Analysis

The use of the past perfect tense verb “had felt” is incorrect. We don’t need the verb sequencing here since there is no related event from the past mentioned in the sentence.

Answer Choices

A

In World War I, the West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office had felt that an operation initiated and funded by external powers supporting the insurgent tribes would be beneficial to the British Empire. 

Incorrect:          

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

B

During World War I, the UK Foreign Office’s West Asia Bureau felt that an operation initiated and funded by external powers in support of the insurgent tribes will be beneficial to the British Empire. 

Incorrect:          

The future tense verb “will” is incorrect in this context since it refers to actions that took place in the past.

C

The West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office felt during World War I that an operation initiated and funded by external powers in support of their insurgent tribes would be beneficial to the British Empire. 

Incorrect:          

There is no antecedent in the sentence for the plural pronoun “their”.

D

An operation initiated and funded by external powers in support of their insurgent tribes was felt by the West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office to be beneficial during World War I to the British Empire.    

Incorrect:    

1)     This choice has the same pronoun error as in choice C.   

2)     The modifier “during World War I” is misplaced. It should modify the action “felt” as intended in the original sentence.   

E

The West Asia Bureau of the UK’s Foreign Office felt during World War I that an operation initiated and funded by external powers supporting the insurgent tribes would be beneficial to the British Empire.    

Correct:       

This choice corrects the error in the original sentence. It changes the past perfect tense verb “had felt” into the simple past tense verb “felt”, which correctly represents an event from the past. 

QUESTION: 8

Once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto was discovered in 1930, lost its planetary status in 2006, which prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’, and is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt measuring 100 kilometers across or more

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • Once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto
    • was discovered in 1930,
    • lost its planetary status in 2006,
      • which prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’,
    • and is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt measuring 100 kilometers across or more.

This sentence tells us three things about Pluto, which was once considered the ninth planet in the solar system. These are:

  1. Pluto was discovered in 1930.
  2. It lost its planetary status in 2006.
    1. This event prompted the IAU to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’.
    2. It is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt measuring 100 kilometers or more.

Error Analysis

1)     The modifier ‘which’ seems to modify the clause “Pluto lost its planetary status in 2006”. This is incorrect since ‘which’ can modify only a noun, not a clause.

2)     The verb-ing modifier ‘measuring’ is ambiguous since it can modify either of the two nouns:

  1. Kuiper Belt
  2. 70,000 icy objects (the verb-ing modifier can jump over the prepositional phrase ‘in the Kuiper Belt’ to modify the preceding noun.)

Answer Choices

A

Once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto was discovered in 1930, lost its planetary status in 2006, which prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’, and is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt measuring 100 kilometers across or more.  

Incorrect:

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

B

Discovered in 1930 and once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto lost its planetary status in 2006, a development that prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’, and is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt that measure 

Correct:  

1)      “a development…… the term ‘planet’” is a noun + noun modifier. In this modifier:

  1. a development = noun (refers to the Pluto losing its planetary status)
  2. that prompted….. term ‘planet’ = noun modifier (provides additional information about the noun)

2)     The plural verb ‘measure’ ensures that the relative pronoun ‘that’ unambiguously refers to the plural noun ’70,000 icy objects’.      

C

Discovered in 1930, Pluto, once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, lost its planetary status in 2006, a development prompting the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’, now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt to measure 

Incorrect:

1)     Since there is no helping verb associated with ‘categorized’, it acts as a verb-ed modifier in this option and incorrectly modifies ‘planet’. Now the sentence incorrectly conveys the meaning that the term ‘planet’ is categorized as something. 

 

2)     This option states that the categorization was done with the intent ‘to measure 100 kilometers across or more’.  This is illogical.  Please view the meaning analysis of the sentence to understand the logical meaning.

D

Pluto, discovered in 1930 and once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, lost its planetary status in 2006, a development that prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’, is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt to measure 

Incorrect:

1)     The two verbs ‘lost’ and ‘is categorized’ are not connected properly.

2)     This option has the same meaning error as pointed out in the second error in option C.  

E

Discovered in 1930 and once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, Pluto lost its planetary status in 2006, prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’, and is now categorized as just one out of 70,000 icy objects in the Kuiper Belt that measure

Incorrect:    

The meaning conveyed by the verb ’prompted’ is illogical. This option conveys the meaning that Pluto prompted the IAU to create a new definition for the term ‘planet’.  This is illogical, since Pluto did not prompt the IAU; the action of Pluto losing its planetary status did so. 

QUESTION: 9

Since products in the chemical industry have extremely brief shelf lives, manufacturers of chemicals usually produce as much as possible in a short span of time, and this was a trend begun by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century, which is continuing in twenty-first century markets.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

    • Since products in the chemical industry have extremely brief shelf lives,
  • manufacturers of chemicals usually produce as much as possible in a short span of time,
  • and this was a trend begun by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century,
      • which is continuing in twenty-first century markets.                                   

This sentence says that because products in the chemical industry have very brief shelf lives, manufacturers in the industry create a lot of products in very small time duration. The author furthers says that this trend was started by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the 19th century and has continued in twenty-first century markets.

Error Analysis

1)     The expression “this was a trend begun by…” is unnecessarily wordy.  Instead the same could be written in a precise form as “this trend was begun by…”.  This correction will also ensure that the demonstrative pronoun “this” is followed by the pronoun that it refers to.

2)     Also, the simple past tense verb “was” is incorrect in the context of the sentence since it indicates that the trend is a thing of the past. The intended meaning is that the trend is still prevalent.

3)     Also, the present continuous tense “is continuing” is incorrectly used to present an event that began in the past and has continued into the present. The present perfect tense should be used in such a context.

“Which” modifier should logically modify “trend” but it is placed too far away from it to make the modification possible.

Answer Choices

A

and this was a trend begun by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century, which is

Incorrect:          

This choice has the errors discussed in the error analysis.

B

which was a trend that began by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century and it is

Incorrect:   

1)     The relative pronoun modifier “which” is used incorrectly. Logically it should refer to the preceding clause, but since it is a noun modifier it can’t refer to a clause.

2)     The independent clause “it is….” is not parallel to the dependent clause “which was…”

3)     Also, this independent clause is connected to the sentence just by “and”.  “And” should be preceded by a comma.

4)     This choice also has the same verb tense error pertaining to “was” as option A.

5)     The verb phrase “began by” should be “was begun by” since it is stated in passive voice.  The difference may be observed as follows:

  1. Active voice - ABC began the movement.
  2. Passive voice - The movement was begun by ABC.

C

a trend begun by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century and

Correct:        

The noun + noun modifier “a trend begun….” correctly modifies the preceding clause. Here, the noun is “a trend” and the noun modifiers are “begun” (verb-ed modifier) and “continuing” (verb-ing modifier).

Note that the verb-ed modifier “begun” is parallel to the verb-ing modifier “continuing”. Also, since this choice changes the verb “is continuing” into the modifier “continuing,” there is no verb tense issue here as there is in option A.

D

a trend begun by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century, it is

Incorrect: 

1)     Two independent clauses are connected using just a comma.

2)     Also, the present continuous tense “is continuing” is incorrectly used as explained in the error analysis.

E

which was a trend begun by the early manufacturers of chemical products in the nineteenth century and is

Incorrect:     

1)     The modifier “which” is used incorrectly as explained in the POE for option B. 

2)     This choice also has the same verb tense errors as option A.

QUESTION: 10

Like a protein rich diet that the healthy genes need to produce amino acids, the healthy genes diminishing is due to more and more people adopting an urban lifestyle, in which they tend to cook less, eating more processed food and fast food.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

This sentence states a few facts as follows:

1: Protein rich diet is needed by healthy genes to produce amino acids.

2: Healthy genes are diminishing since people are adopting urban lifestyle.

3: Because of urban lifestyle, people tend to cook less. This leads to them eating more processed and fast food.

It also states a comparison as follows: Like protein rich diet, healthy genes are diminishing due to reasons…Thus, in essence, both protein rich diet and healthy genes are diminishing because of same set of reasons.

This question tests your ability to set up the comparison correctly i.e. to make the comparison logically and grammatically parallel. It also tests your ability to ensure that all modifiers are placed appropriately. In addition, it tests your ability to identify lists correctly.

Error Analysis

The original sentence compares “protein rich diet” to “healthy genes diminishing”. This is not a correct comparison because it is not logical to say that protein rich diet is due to more and more people adopting an urban lifestyle. The correct comparison should be between “protein rich diet” and “healthy genes”.

Answer Choices

A

the healthy genes diminishing is due to more and more people adopting an urban lifestyle, in which they tend to cook less, eating more processed food and

This choice is incorrect for the reasons discussed in the error analysis.

B

the healthy genes diminishing due to more and more people adopting an urban lifestyle is because they tend to cook less, eat more processed food, and

This choice is incorrect because of multiple reasons:

1: Incorrect comparison is established as in Choice A

2: Intended meaning of original choice has been distorted because now the sentence implies as if there are multiple types of healthy genes diminishing (which is non-sensical), and the one that is due to people adoption urban lifestyle is because they tend to cook less.

3: Incorrect list identified – The list in this choice is incorrect since all three elements do not talk about same thing. Note that 'they cook less' is a separate entity which leads to eating two things 'processed foods' and 'fast foods'. Thus, combining these three entities into one list is incorrect.

C

the healthy genes are diminishing as more and more people adopt an urban lifestyle, in which they tend to cook less, eating more processed food and

Correct

D

the healthy genes are diminishing as more and more people adopt an urban lifestyle cooking less and eating more processed food and

This choice has modifier error since the modifier 'cooking less' appears to modify the preceding noun 'lifestyle' since it is not separated by a comma. This is non-sensical.

E

more and more people adopt an urban lifestyle leading to the diminishing of healthy genes, in which they tend to cook less, eating more processed food and

This choice is structured such that "protein rich diet" is compared to "more and more people". This is not a correct comparison because it is not logical to say that protein rich diets adopt an urban lifestyle the way people adopt.

QUESTION: 11

In spite of discovering new sources of oil exploration in the Canadian oil sands and along the Norwegian coast, OPEC estimates oil companies, in order to conserve margins, to be more conservative in setting exploration targets than they have been in the past

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • In spite of discovering new sources of oil exploration in the Canadian oil sands and along the Norwegian coast,
  • OPEC estimates oil companies,
    • in order to conserve margins,
  • to be more conservative in setting exploration targets than
  • they have been in the past.

The sentence presents a contrast. It states that even though new sources of oil have been discovered, OPEC estimates oil companies to be more conservative in setting exploration targets than they have been in the past.

Error Analysis

SV – The subject verb pairs have been indicated below:

  1. OPEC - estimates
  2. Oil companies - to be more conservative
  3. They - have been

All the SV pairs agree in number.

Verbs – The verb tenses have been used correctly to communicate the intended meaning.

Pronouns – The pronoun “they” unambiguously refers to “oil companies”.  Note that the meaning of the sentence is very clear.  The author compares two things:

  1. In the future – oil companies will be more conservative
  2. In the past – oil companies have not been this conservative

Note that it does not make logical sense for “they” to refer to targets.  Here is the sentence with “they” referring to “targets”.

  • OPEC estimates oil companies to be more conservative in setting targets than targets have been in the past.
    • In this version of the sentence, the comparison is no longer clear. 
      • The author intended to compare the oil companies action in the past and the estimated action in the future. 
      • This comparison structure instead compares action of oil companies in the future with the level of targets in the past.
  • Thus, logically, “they” cannot refer to “targets”.

Parallelism – The construction in this sentence is absolutely parallel.

  1. OPEC estimates
    1. oil companies to be more conservative in doing something
    2. than the oil companies have been in the past.

So essentially the state of oil companies has been compared.  What its state will be in the future with what its state was in the past.  Logically this comparison is absolutely parallel.  Note that different verb tenses have been used but that is acceptable to communicate the intended meaning since the comparison has two elements – one in the future and the other in the past. 

Idioms – This sentence uses a construction with the word “estimates”.  This word can be used in the following ways:

  1. A estimates B to do C
  2. A estimates that B does C

Note that this choice uses the first construction.

This choice is correct as is. 

Answer Choices

A

oil companies, in order to conserve margins, to be more conservative in setting exploration targets than they have been

Correct

B

oil companies, in order to conserve margins, to set exploration targets more conservatively than they were

The simplified version of this choice is as follows: (only including the comparison aspect)

OPEC estimates oil companies to set targets more conservatively than they were in the past.

Notice the comparison here.

  1. Oil companies to set targets
    1. more conservatively than
  2. They were in the past.

This choice has two errors:

  1. Verb Tense:
    1. Notice per the intended meaning, the state in the past time frame was expressed as “have been”, indicating a progressive action.
    2. Now notice in this choice, the action/state in the past time frame has been expressed using “were”, indicating a point in time action. 
      1. Thus, the verb tense does not communicate the intended meaning.
  2. Meaning - This choice communicates ambiguous meaning as explained below.

The construction of this choice is such that the pronoun “they” may refer to either of the two nouns, leading in both cases concrete errors.

“they” refers to “targets”:

  • Oil companies to set
    • Targets
      • More conservatively than
    • The targets were set in the past.

In this case, notice that the word “set” has been repeated. Now this reference while leads to logical meaning, changes the intended meaning.  Per the original choice, it was clear that it is the oil companies that set the targets in the past as well.  But per this choice, since the construction “the targets were set” has been used, we longer know who is the one who set these targets.  Thus, this reference of “they” leads to change in meaning of the intended sentence and hence is not correct.

“they” refers to “oil companies”:

  • Oil companies to set Targets
    • More conservatively than
  • The oil companies were set in the past.

In this case, notice that the word “set” has been repeated.  In fact, the only form of word “set” that can be repeated here is “set”.  We cannot repeat the word “setting” since this form does not appear anywhere in the sentence. 

And hence you can see that this sentence is grammatically as well as logically incorrect.  Per this choice “companies were set in the past”.  This is non-sensical.

Thus, choice B is incorrect. 

C

oil companies to conserve margins and to set exploration targets more conservatively than they have

  • In spite of discovering new sources of oil exploration in the Canadian oil sands and along the Norwegian coast,
  • OPEC estimates oil companies
    • to conserve margins and
    • to set exploration targets
      • more conservatively than they have in the past.

 

This choice changes the intended meaning of the sentence by creating a list that is different from that in the original choice. Notice how the two elements in list per this choice are "to conserve margins", "to set exploration targets". This is not the intended meaning because per the original sentence, the exploration targets are to be set in order to conserve margins. This purpose is not expressed appropriately in this answer choice.

D

that oil companies conserve margins, set exploration targets more conservatively than they have been

 This choice has similar error as discussed in choice C.

E

that oil companies, so that they conserve margins, will be more conservative than they have been in setting of exploration targets

  • In spite of discovering new sources of oil exploration in the Canadian oil sands and along the Norwegian coast,
  • OPEC estimates that oil companies,
    • so that they conserve margins,
  • will be more conservative
  • than they have been in setting of exploration targets in the past.

This choice has two errors.

  • Comparison Error:

Notice that the sentence seems to convey that the setting of exploration targets happened only in the past. This is not the case. Here are some possible ways to present the intended comparison:

  • By moving “in setting of exploration targets”
    • Oil companies will be more conservative in setting of exploration targets than they have been in the past.
      • In this case, the comparison became clear and unambiguous with the correct placement of "in setting of exploration targets”. 
  • By removing “in the past”
    • Oil companies will be more conservative than they have been in setting of exploration targets.
      • Notice that “have been” provides the needed context that this is the event that happened in the past.
      • “in setting of exploration” now unambiguously applies to both the items of comparison and is not restricted to just “in the past”.

 

  • Idiom Error

The usage "so that they conserve.." is awkward here. "so that..." is typically used to provide purpose of an action.  In this case, no such action has been stated.  Consider the following sentence which illustrates the usage of "so that".

Michael gave money to the hospital so that the hospital management could buy the equipment needed for lab tests.

QUESTION: 12

Considering the necessity for a new benchmarking policy, Brownstone Inc. assessed an innovative methodology to monitor its competitors’ progress, compare market behaviors, and indicate whether it should conduct routine surveys of companies in other markets.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • Considering the necessity for a new benchmarking policy,
  • Brownstone Inc. assessed an innovative methodology to
    • monitor its competitors’ progress,
    • compare market behaviors,
    • and indicate
      • whether it should conduct routine surveys of companies in other markets.                  

This sentence talks about an innovative methodology that Brownstone Inc. evaluated. This innovative methodology can do the following things:

1)     monitor the progress of the company’s competitors.

2)     compare the market behaviors.

3)     indicate whether there is any need to conduct routine surveys of companies in other markets.

 

Error Analysis

1)     The opening verb-ing modifier “considering…” correctly refers to the subject of the following clause “Brownstone Inc.”.

2)     The ‘to + verbs’ “to monitor”, “(to) compare” and “(to) indicate” perfectly describe the purpose of the company behind assessing this new methodology. 

3)     All the above three elements of the list are parallel to each other. “To” is understood before “compare” and “indicate”.

4)     The second clause “whether it should….” correctly presents the situation, which has only two possible outcomes. 

5)     There is no error in the given sentence. It is correct as is. 

Answer Choices

A

to monitor its competitors’ progress, compare market behaviors, and indicate

Correct:   

This choice has no errors as shown in error analysis.

B

monitoring its competitors’ progress, compared market behaviors, and indicated

Incorrect:      

This choice incorrectly makes the company the subject of the verbs “compared” and “indicated.” According to the intended meaning conveyed in the original sentence, the methodology would be used to do three things: monitor, compare and indicate. So, this choice distorts the intended meaning.

C

to monitor its competitors’ progress, and it compared market behaviors indicating

Incorrect:

Like choice B, this choice also distorts the parallel list of the original sentence, introducing the following errors:

1)     This choice presents “compared” and “assessed” as entities of a parallel list, implying that the company did these two actions.  This changes the intended meaning since per the original choice the action “compared” is associated with the innovative methodology.

2)     Also, the verb-ing modifier “indicating” incorrectly modifies “market behaviors”.  

D

monitoring its competitors’ progress and comparing market behaviors indicating

Incorrect:

1)     The meaning that the purpose of the new methodology is to monitor, to compare and to indicate is lost in this sentence.

2)     This choice has the same modifier error as in choice C.  

E

to monitor its competitors’ progress and compare market behaviors, indicating  

Incorrect:    

The comma + verb-ing modifier “indicating” incorrectly modifies the preceding clause. It conveys the meaning that “indicating” describes how the company assessed the innovative methodology. This meaning error leads to a distortion of the intended meaning of the sentence.

QUESTION: 13

In the last decade, research in nanotechnology conducted at university-funded laboratories fell to a record low because grants for scientists who conducted independent research were not easily approved, but, because the necessary technical tools were rising in costs, those of expenses incurred during such research increased rapidly.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • In the last decade, research in nanotechnology conducted at university-funded laboratories fell to a record low
    • because grants for scientists
      • whoconducted independent research
  • were not easily approved,
  • but, because the necessary technical toolswere rising in costs,
    • those of expenses incurred during such research increased rapidly.            

This sentence tells us that the research in nanotechnology that is carried out at university-funded laboratories decreased significantly in the last decade. It further gives the following two reasons for this decrease:

  1. Grants for scientists conducting independent research were not approved easily.
  2. The expenses for independent researches increased because of the increasing costs of the necessary technical tools.

So, the sentence explains why nanotechnology research in university-funded laboratories decreased: grants were not easily approved while the expenses increased.

Error Analysis

1)      The two reasons have been connected using ‘but’, a contrast word.  This connection is not logical since there is no apparent contrast between the two reasons.  Both the reasons present rationale for why the research decreased – grants were not easily approved and at the same time the expenses increased.

2)      The phrase “those of” does not make much sense in the context of this sentence. Since “those” is a demonstrative pronoun, it should refer to a noun that has already been mentioned in the sentence. However, in this sentence, there is no logical antecedent for the pronoun “those.” So, the phrase “those of” should be removed from the sentence.

It is illogical to say that the tools were rising. The costs of the tools were rising, not the tools themselves. 

Answer Choices

A

who conducted independent research were not easily approved, but, because the necessary technical tools were rising in costs, those of

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

B

conducting independent research were not easily approved while, because of the rising costs of the necessary technical tools,

Correct:      

This choice corrects all the errors of the original choice.   

C

conducting independent research were not easily approved, because of the rising costs of the necessary technical tools, and those of

Incorrect:

1)     As in choice A, “those of” has no function in the sentence.

2)     This choice distorts the meaning of the sentence. The sentence now incorrectly states that grants were not easily approved because of two reasons:

  1. the rising costs of tools.
  2. the increase of expenses

3)     Furthermore, the two reasons mentioned are not parallel.  One is a phrase “rising costs…” and the other is a clause “expenses increased...”

D

that conducted independent research that was not easily approved; however, because the necessary tools were rising in costs,

Incorrect:

1)     There is no verb for the subject “grants for scientists”. 

2)     This sentence conveys a different meaning from that of the original sentence. It says that the research was not easily approved. However, according to the original sentence the grants for scientists were not easily approved.

3)     The relative pronoun modifier “that” is incorrectly used to refer to the scientists; “that” cannot be used to refer to people.

4)     It is illogical to say that the tools were rising. The costs of the tools were rising, not the tools.  

E

conducting independent research that was not easily approved, but, because of the rising costs of the necessary technical tools,  

Incorrect:    

1)     This choice changes the meaning in the same way as choice D does.

2)     There is no verb for the subject “grants for scientists”. 

3)     This choice contains the error pertaining to “but” as Choice A does.

QUESTION: 14

Mary Stuart was born in Scotland, but never did possess great fluency in the language of the country over which she had later been called to rule; her knowledge of it was acquired chiefly, if not wholly, after she returned from France.

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • Mary Stuart
    • was born in Scotland,
    • but never did possess great fluency in the language of the country
      • over which she had later been called to rule;
  • her knowledge of it was acquired chiefly, if not wholly,
    • after she returned from France.   

This sentence states a contrast: although Mary Stuart was born in Scotland, she was not fluent in the language of Scotland, over which she was asked to rule later in her life. Most of the knowledge she had of the language was gained after she returned to Scotland from France.  

Error Analysis

1)     The past perfect tense “had been called” is incorrect in this sentence since there is no other related event from the past for which sequencing of the verbs is needed.

2)    “Comma + but” expression is used to connect two verbs. This is incorrect. To connect two verbs, “but” should be used without a comma before it. “Comma + but” is used to connect two independent clauses. 

Answer Choices

A

Mary Stuart was born in Scotland, but never did possess great fluency in the language of the country over which she had later been called to rule; her knowledge of it was acquired chiefly, if not wholly, after she returned from France. 

Incorrect:       

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

B

Mary Stuart’s knowledge of the language of the country over which she was later called to rule had been acquired chiefly, if not wholly, after her return from France to her birthplace in Scotland, and she never possessed great fluency in it. 

Incorrect:       

1)     There is no antecedent for the pronoun “she” as the noun Mary Stuart is used in the possessive form.  

2)     The past perfect tense verb “had been acquired” is incorrect since this action did not take place before any related action from the past.

3)     In the original sentence, the fact that Mary Stuart never possessed fluency in the language is stated in contrast to the fact that she was born in Scotland. That contrast is missing here.

C

Though born in Scotland, Mary Stuart never possessed great fluency in the language of the country over which she was later called to rule; her knowledge of it was acquired chiefly, if not wholly, after her return from France. 

Correct:          

This choice corrects the errors in the original sentence.

D

Although born in Scotland and never possessing great fluency in the language of the country over which she was later called to rule, Mary Stuart’s knowledge of it was acquired chiefly, if not wholly, after her return from France.    

Incorrect:       

1)     The intended contrast is completely distorted in this choice. It states that:

  1. though she was born in Scotland and wasn’t fluent in the language,
  2. her knowledge of it was acquired after she returned from France.

There is no logical contrast between these two pieces of information. The intended contrast is that although she was born in Scotland, Stuart wasn’t fluent in the language of the country. In this choice, these two facts are connected using “and”, which fails to indicate the intended contrast.

2)     The modifiers “born in Scotland” and “never possessing…” illogically modify “Mary Stuart’s knowledge”. They should modify Mary Stuart.

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

E

Born in Scotland, Mary Stuart never did possess great fluency in the language of the country over which she was later called to rule, and her knowledge of it was acquired chiefly, if not wholly, after she returned from France.  

Incorrect:       

The contrast that Mary Stuart was born in Scotland but was not fluent in its language is missing in this choice.   

QUESTION: 15

The production of goods for export that accounted for about one-third of China’s air pollution in 2006 and the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US helps explain how China has become the largest total contributor to climate change, overtaking the US. 

Solution:

Meaning Analysis

  • The production of goods for export
    • that accounted for about one-third of China’s air pollution in 2006
  • and the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US helps explain
    • how China has become the largest total contributor to climate change,
      • overtaking the US.

The sentence says the production of goods for export and the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US help explain something about China. We also get to know that the production of goods that are produced for export was responsible for about one-third of China’s air pollution in 2006. The two mentioned factors are the reason that China has become the largest total contributor to climate change and as a result has overtaken the US.

 

Error Analysis

There are two entities that form the subject of the first clause: “the production of goods for export” and “the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US”. So we have a plural subject here. However, the singular verb “helps” does not agree in number with this plural subject. So we have an SV number agreement error in this sentence. This is only error in this sentence.

Answer Choices

A

2006 and the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US helps explain how China has become the largest total contributor to climate change, overtaking

Incorrect: This choice has the error pointed out in the error analysis. 

B

2006, combined with the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US, help explain how China has become the largest total contributor to climate change, and overtook

Incorrect:  

1)    This choice again has a SV number agreement error. Notice that the second factor “the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US” has been turned into a modifier. Hence, as per this choice, the subject is singular - “the production of goods for export”. Therefore, use of the plural verb “help” is incorrect here.

2)    Also, use of “overtook” is incorrect for two reasons.

  1. First, it indicates a slight change in the intended meaning of the sentence. The verb “overtook” is parallel to the verb “has become,” indicating that the two actions are independent of each other. In the original sentence, the verb-ing modifier “overtaking” modifies the clause “China has become…”, indicating that the two actions are related.  
  2. Second, use of the simple past tense is incorrect in this context because according to the intended meaning China is currently the largest total contributor to climate change.

C

2006, combined with the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US, helps explain how China has become the largest total contributor to climate change, overtaking

Correct:  This choice correctly uses the singular verb “helps” for the singular subject “the production of goods for export”.  

D

2006, combined with the fact that the US has been outsourcing its manufacturing, help explain how China has become the largest total contributor to climate change, overtaking

Incorrect: 

1)    This choice repeats the subject-verb agreement error of Choice B.

2)    Use of “the fact that… manufacturing” makes the choice unnecessarily wordy.

E

2006 and the outsourcing of manufacturing by the US helps in explaining China as the largest total contributor to climate change, overtaking

Incorrect:

1)     This choice repeats the SV number agreement error of Choice A. 

Related tests