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Sentence Improvement: Solved Examples- 3 | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT PDF Download

Question 17: Fighting a rising tide of illegal fishing, four boats poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life caught in their waters have been set on fire by the island nation.
A. the island nation has set fire on four boats caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in their waters.
B. four boats caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in their waters have been set on fire by the island nation.
C. the island nation has set fire to four boats caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in its waters.
D. the island nation has set fire to four boats poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life caught in their waters.
Answer: the island nation has set fire to four boats caught poaching sea cucumbers and other marine life in its waters.
Explanation:
There are a few errors in the given sentence.
One is the dandling modifier, ‘fighting a rising tide of illegal fishing’. Who is fighting illegal fishing? The island nation (not the boats poaching in the waters). So, ‘island nation’ should follow the modifier, not ‘four boats’.
The second error is in the placement of the word ‘caught’. This verb does not relate to sea cucumbers and other marine life in the waters. The marine life has been poached. It is the boats have been caught poaching.
Finally, ‘island nation’ is singular. So, the pronoun that relates to this should be singular. The correct usage is ‘its waters’, not ‘their waters’.
Also note that in the answer options, option (a) says ‘set fire on’. This is incorrect. The correct usage is ‘set fire to’, or ’set on fire’.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option C

Choice C is the correct answer.

Question 18: Researchers have recently discovered a bacteria, Ideonella sakaiensis, in a recycling plant that eats one of the most common forms of plastic.
A. a bacteria, Ideonella sakaiensis, that eats one of the most common forms of plastic in a recycling plant.
B. Ideonella sakaiensis, a bacteria that eats one of the most common forms of plastic, in a recycling plant.
C. a bacterium that eats one of the most common forms of plastic, Ideonella sakaiensis, in a recycling plant.
D. Ideonella sakaiensis, a bacterium that eats one of the most common forms of plastic, in a recycling plant.
Answer: Ideonella sakaiensis, a bacterium that eats one of the most common forms of plastic, in a recycling plant.
Explanation:
As the word ‘bacteria’ is plural, ‘a bacteria’ is incorrect. The singular form is ‘bacterium’.
By placing the modifier “that eats one of the most common forms of plastic” after ‘a recycling plant’, the given sentence implies the recycling plant eats plastic!
Option (c) is ambiguous, as the name of the bacterium follows ‘one of the most common forms of plastic’.
Only option (d) corrects all errors.
The question is " Choose the grammatically correct option "
Hence, the answer is option D
Choice D is the correct answer.

Question 19: My mother bought ice creams for my brother and me, but she didn’t buy one herself.
A. for my brother and me, but she didn’t buy one for herself.
B. for my brother and myself, but she didn’t buy herself one.
C. for my brother and I, but she didn’t buy one for her.
D. for my brother and I, but she didn’t buy one for herself.
Answer: for my brother and me, but she didn’t buy one for herself.
Explanation:
The pronoun ‘I’ is a subject pronoun, used when one is the doer of the action. The pronoun ‘me’, on the other hand, is an object pronoun. It is used when one is the receiver of the action.
The pronoun to be used in the given sentence is ‘me’, as it refers to the receiver of the action ‘bought’. My mother bought ice creams for me (not for I).
Note that the use of the reflexive pronoun, ‘myself’ is also incorrect. A reflexive pronoun is used to reflect or emphasize its antecedent, the word the pronoun stands in for. ‘My mother bought ice-creams for myself’ is incorrect.
The other error in the given sentence is in the phrase ‘didn’t buy one herself’. This implies that she didn’t buy the ice-creams, someone else did it for her. Clearly, that’s not what is meant. She didn’t buy one for herself. You could also say, ‘she didn’t buy herself one’.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option A

Choice A is the correct answer.

Question 20: The striking panorama of elegantly-restored Baroque buildings along the Elbe provides evidence of why Dresden, a city all but wiped of the map by Allied bombings in 1945, was called the “Florence on the Elbe” once.
A. provide evidence of why Dresden, a city all but wiped off the map by Allied bombings in 1945, was once called the “Florence on the Elbe.”
B. provide evidence of why Dresden, a city all but wiped off the map in 1945 by Allied bombings, was called the “Florence on the Elbe” once.
C. provides evidence of why Dresden, a city all but wiped of the map in 1945 by Allied bombings, was once called the “Florence on the Elbe”.
D. provides evidence of why Dresden, a city all but wiped off the map by Allied bombings in 1945, was once called the “Florence on the Elbe”.
Answer: provides evidence of why Dresden, a city all but wiped off the map by Allied bombings in 1945, was once called the “Florence on the Elbe”.
Explanation:
The sentence given has three errors:
1. ‘Panorama’ is singular. So, the verb associated with this is ‘provides’, not ‘provide’.
2. The preposition ‘of’ connects words and is used to show possession or the relationship between two things. The right word in the given context is ‘off’, the equivalent of ‘away’.
3. The adverb ‘once’ should be placed immediately before the word or phrase it modifies. ‘Called …. once’ could mean it was called so one time (instead of at one time). The correct usage is ‘was once called…’.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option D

Choice D is the correct answer.

Question 21: Just as every generation believes it’s better than the others, so too does every country.
A. believe they’re better than the others, every country believes it’s better too.
B. believe they’re better than the others, so too does every country.
C. believes its better than the others, every country believes so too.
D. No correction required
Answer: No correction required
Explanation:
There are no errors in the given sentence.
‘Generation’ is singular. So, the pronoun and verb associated with it are ‘it’ and ‘believes’ respectively.
It’s, the contraction for ‘it is’, is the right word in the given context. The possessive pronoun ‘its’ means ‘belonging to it’.
Note the use of inversion (placement of verb before the subject) in 'so too does very country'. This often seen when using the phrase ‘just as…so too’, though it is not mandatory. 'Just as every generation believes it's better than the others, every country believes so too' is also correct.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option D

Choice D is the correct answer.

Question 22: Remains of the tomb of the Ottoman sultan who died in 1566 while his troops were besieging the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, Suleiman the Magnificent, is believed to be found recently.
A. the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who died in 1566 while his troops were besieging the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, is believed to be found recently.
B. the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who died in 1566 while his troops were besieging the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, is believed as being found recently.
C. Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman sultan who died in 1566 while his troops were besieging the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, is believed to have been found recently.
D. Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman sultan who died in 1566 while his troops were besieging the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, are believed to have been found recently.
Answer: Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman sultan who died in 1566 while his troops were besieging the fortress of Szigetvar in Hungary, are believed to have been found recently.
Explanation:
In the given sentence, the noun phrase ‘Suleiman the Magnificent’ is misplaced. This error is corrected in all given answer options.
Also note that ‘to be found’ is incorrect. The correct tense to use is the present perfect form, i.e. ‘to have been found’.
The subject of the sentence is ‘remains of the tomb’. As ‘remains’ is plural, the correct verb to follow it is ‘are’.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option D
Choice D is the correct answer.

Question 23: Pack your own fare so that you’ll be less apt to give into temptation when your tummy rumbles.
A. at giving into temptation when your tummy rumbles.
B. to give in to temptation when your tummy rumbles.
C. at giving in to temptation when your tummy rumbles.
D. No correction required
Answer: to give in to temptation when your tummy rumbles.
Explanation:
The phrasal verb ‘give in’ means ‘to surrender’. It is normally followed by a prepositional phrase starting with ‘to’ and whatever was fought and not won (e.g. give in to the temptation). Note that ‘in to’ is generally short for ‘in order to.’
‘Into’, on the other hand, is a preposition that expresses movement or entry. ‘Into’ usually answers the question ‘where?’ This word does not make sense in the given context.
To be ‘apt to’ do something is to have the tendency to do it. The adjective ‘apt’ has other meanings such as suitable (e.g. an apt reply), and resourceful (e.g. an apt student). Neither of these apply here. ‘Apt to give in’ is the right usage.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option B

Choice B is the correct answer.

Question 24: During flight, the combination of low air pressure and humidity in aircraft cabins reduce the sensitivity of our taste buds for salt and sweet by upto 30%.
A. reduce the sensitivity of our taste buds to salt and sweet by upto 30%.
B. reduces the sensitivity of our taste buds for salt and sweet by upto 30%.
C. reduces the sensitivity of our taste buds to salt and sweet by up to 30%.
D. reduces the sensitivity of our taste buds for salt and sweet by up to 30%.
Answer: reduces the sensitivity of our taste buds to salt and sweet by up to 30%.
Explanation:
'Combination' is singular, so the verb associated with it is 'reduces'.
'Sensitivity to' is the correct usage, not 'sensitivity for'.
Finally, 'upto' is not a word in English. It is written as 'up to'.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option C

Choice C is the correct answer.
Question 25: For a long time, scientists thought that the depths of the ocean, for the most parts, was devoid of life.
A. the depth of the ocean, for the most parts, was devoid of life.
B. the depths of the ocean, for the most parts, were devoid of life.
C. the depth of the ocean, for the most part, was devoid of life.
D. the depths of the ocean, for the most part, were devoid of life.
Answer: the depths of the ocean, for the most part, were devoid of life.
Explanation:
While ‘depth’ is a measure of the extent downward, ‘depths’ refers to the deepest or most remote part. The correct word in the given context is ‘depths’, not ‘depth.’
‘Depths’ is plural. So, the verb to follow this is ‘were’, not ‘was’.
The correct idiomatic usage is ‘for the most part’.
The question is "Choose the grammatically correct option"
Hence, the answer is option D

Choice D is the correct answer.

The document Sentence Improvement: Solved Examples- 3 | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT is a part of the CAT Course Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC).
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FAQs on Sentence Improvement: Solved Examples- 3 - Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT

1. What is the purpose of sentence improvement questions in exams?
Ans. Sentence improvement questions in exams are designed to test a student's understanding of grammar rules, vocabulary usage, and sentence structure. These questions require students to identify errors or improve the given sentences to make them grammatically correct and clear.
2. How can I improve my skills in sentence improvement?
Ans. To improve skills in sentence improvement, it is essential to familiarize oneself with grammar rules, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Practice regularly by solving sentence improvement exercises and reviewing the explanations for incorrect answers. Additionally, reading extensively can enhance language skills, leading to better sentence improvement abilities.
3. What are some common errors to look out for in sentence improvement questions?
Ans. Some common errors in sentence improvement questions include subject-verb agreement, incorrect verb tenses, misplaced modifiers, faulty parallelism, and improper word usage. It is crucial to carefully read the given sentence and identify any grammatical errors or areas that can be improved to make the sentence more effective and coherent.
4. How can I approach sentence improvement questions effectively during exams?
Ans. To approach sentence improvement questions effectively during exams, start by reading the original sentence carefully and identifying any errors or areas for improvement. Pay attention to grammar rules, verb tenses, sentence structure, and word choice. Eliminate answer choices that do not improve the sentence or introduce new errors. Select the option that best enhances the clarity, correctness, and coherence of the sentence.
5. Are there any strategies to help me tackle sentence improvement questions quickly?
Ans. Yes, there are strategies to tackle sentence improvement questions quickly. Skim through the options first to get a sense of the changes being suggested. Then, focus on the original sentence and identify any errors or improvements needed. Eliminate answer choices that do not address the identified issues. If unsure, eliminate options that introduce new errors or seem awkward. Practice time management to ensure you allocate appropriate time for each question without getting stuck on any particular item.
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