Chapter 1 SENTENCE CORRECTION BASICS
Correct sentence correction answers can sound very formal or awkward. You task is to evaluate the given answer choices, not to create ideal sentence. To complicate matters, incorrect answer choices often sound right. Setting your goal to 1 minute per Sentence Correction question.
Steps to finish to problems:
1. write down ABCDE on your paper(我觉得不是很必要咯这一步)
2. read the sentence, noting any obvious errors as you read
3. scan the answer choices vertically---do not read them---looking for differences that split the
4. choose a split for which you know the grammatical rule and which side of the split is
5. on your paper, cross out the answer choices that include the incorrect side of the split 6. compare the remaining answer by re-splitting. Continue to find differences in the answers,
but make sure you use only the answer choices that remain from your initial split 7. continue to split remaining choices until you have one answer left
Most Sentence Correction problems test multiple issues of grammar and style. During the exam,
you need only one path to the right. During your review, you should master all the
rules tested by a particular problems.
You must begin by reading the entire sentence.
You will see that the relationship between the underlined and non-underlined parts of the
sentence is both complex and crucial. Without understanding the relationship,
you will miss errors and perhaps choose the wrong answer.
Always read the entire sentence, as the GMAT often places important words far form the
After you have made your choice, you should double-check that your answer works in the
context of the entire sentence.
Chapter 2 GRAMMAR, MEANING, CONCISION
1) Grammar: Does the sentence adhere to the rules of Standard Written English? 2) Meaning: Is the meaning of the sentence obvious and unambiguous? 3) Concision: Is the sentence written as economically as possible?
When evaluating Sentence Correction problems, begin by looking for errors in grammar.
After you have found grammar errors, look for meaning issues.
Finally, if you have still not singled out an answer, choose the remaining choice that is most
Grammar: Much of the language that one hears in everyday speech actually violates one rule or
another. The GMAT test s your ability to distinguish between good and bad
grammar, even when the bad grammar seems natural.
Do Not be overly concerned with the grammatical terms used, as the GMAT will only test your
ability to spot issues and mistakes. The terms are simply necessary to explain
various grammatical rules. You should focus on being able to apply these rules,
not memorizing terms.
Meaning: Confusing writing is bad writing. If you have to read a sentence more than once to
figure out what the author is saying—or if the sentence lends itself to multiple
interpretations---it is not a good sentence. Moreover, the sentence must reflect
the author’s true intent. The correct answer can resolve ambiguity in the original
version, but you should not change the meaning that the author intends.\
Sometimes the original sentence will have a clear, unambiguous meaning. In these cases, you goal
is to preserve this original meaning as you correct other issues. Do not alter the
author’s intent when you make your choice!
At other times, the original sentence will be confusing, and you will need to discern the author’s
intent. Fortunately, this intent will not be buried too deeply.
Most instances of meaning errors fall into one of three major catrgories 1) Choose Your Words
2) Place Your Words
3) Match Your Words
1) Choose Your Words: The GMAT rarely tests you on pure ―dictionary knowledge,‖ but very
occasionally, it tries to pull a trick on you by switching a particular word and
My decision to drive a hybrid car was motivated by economic considerations.
Economical considerations motivated my decision to drive a hybrid car. Explanation: The second sentence, which is shorter and punchier, may look preferable.
Unfortunately, it is wrong! Economical means “thrifty, efficient.” Notice that
this meaning is not too distant from what the author intends to say: he or she
wants an efficient automobile. But the appropriate phrase is economic
considerations-----that is, monetary considerations.
Consider the following pairs of ―cousin‖ words and expressions, together with their distinct
aggravate (worsen) vs. aggravating (irritating)
known as (named) vs. known to be (acknowledged as) loss of (no longer in possession of) vs. loss in (decline in value) mandate (command) vs. have a mandate (have authority from voters) native of (person from) vs. native to (species that originated in ) range of ( variety of) vs. ranging( varying)
rate of (speed or frequency of) vs. rates for (prices for)
rise (general increase) vs. raise( a bet or a salary increase) such as (for instance) vs. like (similar to)
try to do (seek to accomplish) vs. try doing (experiment with)
Big changes in meaning can be accomplished with switches of little words.
Certain Helping Verbs, such as may, will, must, and should, provide another way for the GMAT
to test meaning.
These helping verbs express various levels of certainty, obligation, and reality, Simply by
swapping these verbs, the GMAT can completely change the meaning of the
sentence. Pay attention to these little helping verbs! 关于助动词改变意思给出的3个例子！
Certain: The drop in interest rates WILL create better investment opportunities. Uncertain: The drop in interest rates MAY create better investment opportunities.
解释！Either of these sentences could be correct. However, do not jump from one to the other!
Stay with the intent of the original sentence, whether it uses will or may.
Absolutely Necessary: The court ruled that the plaintiff MUST pay full damages.
Morally Obliged: The court ruled that the plaintiff SHOULD pay full damages.
解释！Notice that the second sentence cannot be correct. WHY? The word should means ―moral
obligation‖—something that a court cannot impose. On the other hand, the use of
must in the first sentence indicates a legally binding obligation imposed upon the
plaintiff. Thus, you should go with must, whether the original sentence use must or
Note also that on the GMAT, should means ―moral obligation,‖ not ―likelihood”
Actual: If Chris and Jad met, they DISCUSSED mathematics.
Hypothetical: If Chris and Jad met, they WOULD DISCUSSED mathematics.
解释！The first sentence could be said by someone who is unsure whether Chris and Jad have
actually met: ― If this did indeed happen, then that is the consequence.‖ The second
sentence, however, predicts the consequences of a hypothetical meeting of the
two men: ― If this were to happen, then that would be the consequence.‖
总结！Pay attention to the original sentence’s helping verbs--- and only change them if the
original sentence is obviously nonsensical.
2) Place Your Words: beware of words that move from one position to another; the placement
of a single word can alter the meaning of a sentence.
ALL the children are covered in mud.
The children are ALL covered in mud.
解释！In these sentences, changing the placement of all shifts the intent form the number of
children covered in mud to the extent to which the children are covered in mud.
ONLY the council votes on Thursdays.
The council votes ONLY on Thursdays.
解释！Note that the meaning of the sentence changes as only shifts position. In the first sentence,
the placement of only indicates that the council alone votes on Thursdays.( as
opposed to the board, perhaps, which votes on Mondays and Fridays) In the
second sentence, the placement of only indicates that the council does not vote any
day but Thursday.
小结！If a word changes its position in the answer choices ,you must consider whether the change
has an impact on the meaning of the sentence. Look out especially for short
words (such as only and all) that quantify nouns or otherwise restrict meaning.
At a larger level, you need to pay attention to overall word order. All the words in a sentence
could be well-chosen , but the sentence could still be awkward or ambiguous. 例子！
The council granted the right to make legal petitions TO CITY OFFICAILS. 解释！What does the phrase to city officials mean? Did the city officials receive the right to make
legal petitions? Or did someone else receive the right to make petitions to the
Either way ,the correct sentence should resolve the ambiguity: The council granted CITY OFFICIALS the right to make legal petitions. OR
The right to make legal petitions TO CITY OFFICIALS was granted by the council.
If the sentence is still confusing, check the overall word order for unnecessary inversions.
For instance, English normally puts subjects in front of verbs. Try to preserve that order,
which is natural to the language.
Awkward！A referendum is general public vote through which IS PASSED A LAW OR OTHER
Better: A referendum is general public vote through which A LAW OR OTHER
PROPOSAL IS PASSED.
3) Match Your Words: Sentence contain pairs of words or phrases that must match. For
example, the subject and the verb must match. This ―matching‖ concept has
grammatical implications (agree in number), but it also has logical implications.
We must remember that the subject and the verb must make sense together.
Concision: The GMAT does not like to waste words.
1) Many Sentence Correction problems will involve concision. If two choices are both
grammatically correct and clear in meaning, but one is more concise than the
other, then choose the shorter one.
Generally, the GMAT frowns upon using a phrase where a single word will do.
Remember, however, that Concision is the LAST of the three principles tested on Sentence
Correction problems (Grammar, Meaning, Concision). Do not simply pick the
shortest choice and move on. Quite frequently, the GMAT will force you to pick a
longer choice that is grammatically correct and clear in meaning.
2) Another aspect of concision is redundancy. If a word can be removed without subtracting from
the meaning of the sentence, it should be eliminated.
Pay attention to expressions of time. It is easy to sneak two synonymous and redundant time
expressions into an answer choice (especially if one expression is in the
non-underlined part, or if the two expressions do not look like each other)
PAST: Previously Formerly In the past Before now
PRESENT: Now Currently Presently At present
YEARLY: Annual Each Year A Year
Generally, a sentence should include only one such expression. This does not mean that you can
never repeat time expressions in a sentence; just be sure that you are doing so for
a good reason.
Chapter 2 Problem Set ；归纳了我自己当时不确认的题目？
1.No matter how much work it may require, getting an MBA turns out to be a wise investment for
Even though it requires much work
Explanation: The original sentence dose not say that geeing an MBA requires a lot of work. The
expression no matter how much work it may require simply says that the amount
of work (whether large or small) does not matter. The revised version eliminates
the word may, so that the new sentence does say that an MBA requires a lot of
work. This change of meaning is UNJUSTIFIED.
2. The driver took the people for a ride who had been waiting.
the people who had been waiting for a ride
Explanation: In the original sentence, the modifier who had been waiting does not clearly modify
the people. It appears, illogically, to modify the closer noun (the ride). The
boldface version moves who had been waiting next to the people, thus making
clear that it is the people who had been waiting. This change of meaning is
However, the boldface version also makes another change of meaning. The words for a ride
now come right after waiting, so it seems that these people had been waiting for a
ride. This change of meaning is UNJUSTIFIED.
3.Rising costs to raw materials may impel us to rise prices farther.
Costs of raw materials may impale us to raise prices further.
The switch from costs to to costs of is JUSTIFIED. Costs to X are what X has to pay, whereas
costs of X are how much somebody must pay to buy X. The latter makes much
more sense here, because raw materials are being paid for, not doing the paying.
The switch from impel to impale is UNJUSTIFIED. To impel is to force someone to do something.
To impale something is to pierce it with a sharp instrument !
The switch from rise to raise is JUSTIFIED. Raise is a verb that always takes a direct object.
Rise is used only in contexts where there is no direct object. In our sentence, prices are direct
object, so the verb must be raise.
The switch from farther to further is JUSTIFIED. Farther refers only to distance, whereas further
refers to degree of something other than distance.
4. She is the most dedicated gardener on the block, every day watering the more than 50 plants in
Every day watering more than the 50 plants in her yard.
The original version contains the phrase the more than 50 plants. Here the words more than
modify the number 50. The sentence therefore means that she waters her plants, of
which there are more than fifty. In the boldface version, we have the phrase
watering more than the 50 plants. Here the words more than are separated from the
number 50, and therefore do not modify that number. The new version tells us
that she waters something more than the plants----for instance, she might water
her gravel walkway or her garden gnomes.(除了浇灌那50颗植物也浇灌其他东
5. Hector remembers San Francisco as it was when he left ten years ago.
As though he had left ten years ago
Explanation: The boldface version makes two UNJUSTIFIED changes to the original version. The original sentence tells us that Hector actually DID leave San Francisco ten years ago. The
revised version tells as that he did NOT leave San Francisco ten years ago: the
expression as though is used to discuss things that are untrue or did not happen
(You behave as though you were richer than Bill Gate !)
Another important change in meaning comes because the revised version takes out the words it
was, and therefore does not refer directly to the state of affairs in San Francisco
ten years ago.
7. After the fact that the test format was changed, scores subsequently dropped by more than a
After the test format was changed, scores dropped by more than 25%.
Explanation: the fact that is redundant here, as it is in almost any sentence in which is occurs.
Chapter 3 SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Every sentence must have a Subject and Verb. The subject is the noun that performs the action
expressed by the verb.
In every sentence, the subject and the verb must make logic sense together. Moreover, the subject
and the verb must agree in number.
Subject and Verb Must Both Exist
If a sentence is missing the subject or the verb, the sentence is a Fragment. On the GMAT, an
answer choice that makes the sentence a fragment is wrong. This error is rather
rare, but you need to be ready to recognize it when it occurs.
A sentence can be a fragment in another way: it could start with a Connecting Word and contain
no Main Clause. (A clause that could stand alone as a sentence as is ,with its own
subject and verb)
Subject and Verb Must Make Sense Together
A correct answer must have a clear meaning. Thus, it must make logical sense.
例子！The development of a hydrogen car based on expected performance parameters will be able
to travel hundreds of miles without refueling.
解释！At the first glance, this sentence may seem okay. But be careful: The development of a
hydrogen car……will be able to travel…..? Something is wrong. It is not the
development that will be able to travel. We want to say that the hydrogen car itself
will be able to travel.
Right: Once developed, a hydrogen CAR based on expected performance parameters WILL BE
able to travel hundreds of miles without refueling.
Make sure that the subject and the verb actually have a sensible meaning together!
Subject and Verb Must Agree In Number
Singular and plural verb forms are second nature to you. The GMAT often tries to confuse you
before you make the subject-verb match.
How? The GMAT hides the subject, so that you are unsure whether the subject is singular or
The key to making subjects and verbs agree in GMAT sentences is to find the subject that goes
with a particular verb. To find the subject, you must ignore all the words that are
not the subject.
Eliminate the Middlemen, and Skip the Warmup
The GMAT hides the subject in a few ways. The most common way by far is to insert words
between the subject and the verb. You must lean to eliminate these Middlemen
words to reveal the subject.
Furthermore, the GMAT often puts a significant number of words in front of the subject you want.
In these cases, you have to ―skip the Warmup‖ that comes before the subject you
are looking for.
There are a few common types of middle men and warmups.
1) Prepositional Phrases
A Prepositional Phrase is a group of words headed by a Preposition.
Prepositional Phrases modify or describe other parts of the sentence.
2) Subordinate Clauses
Like prepositional phrase, many subordinate clauses modify other parts of the sentence, acting as
―big adjectives or big adverbs.‖ Some subordinate clauses even act as ―big nouns‖.
Either way, since these clauses do not contain the main subject or verb, they are frequently used as
middlemen and warmups.
3) Other Modifiers
Other words can also function as Modifiers, which modify or describe other portions of the
sentence. In the meantime, to find and eliminate other modifiers, look for Present
Participles (-ing forms derived from verbs) and Past Participles (-Ed and –En forms
derived from verbs)
Commas are another helpful sign, since comma sometimes separate the modifiers from the rest
of the sentence.
Use Structure to Decide
A new noun in a prepositional phrase cannot be the subject of the sentence, with limited
idiomatic exceptions that we will see later.
And vs. Additive Phrases
The word and can unite two or more singular subjects, forming a compound plural subject.
Many other words and phrases besides and can ―add‖ to a subject. These words and phrases are
call Additive Phrases. Examples include the following
Along with Polly in addition to surgery as well as the mayor
Accompanied by me together with a tie including salt and pepper
Unlike and, additive phrases do not form compound subjects. Rather, phrases function as
modifiers and therefore cannot change the number of the subject.
小结！only the word and can change a singular subject into a plural one. Singular subject followed
by additive phrases remain singular subjects.
Or, Either…Or, &Neither…Nor
Occasionally, a subject may include a phrase such as or, either…or, or neither…nor. Such phrases
link two nouns. If one of the nouns is singular and the other noun is plural, what
verb form should be used? The answer is simple: find the noun nearest to the verb,
and make sure that the verb agrees in number with this noun.
Note: when the words either or neither are in sentence alone (without or or nor), they are
considered singular and take only singular verbs.)
Collective Nouns : Almost Always Singular
A Collective Noun is a noun that looks singular ( it usually does not end with an –s) but can refer
to a group of people or objects. Some examples include the following:
People: agency,army,audience,class,committee,crowd,orchestra,team Items: baggage,citrus,equipment,fleet,fruit,furniture
In some rare circumstances, collective nouns can be considered plural (e.g., whenyou emphasize
the individual actors, not their unity). However, on the GMAT, collective nouns are
almost always considered singular and therefore require singular verb forms.
Indefinite Pronouns: Usually Singular
Pronouns are words that replace other nouns or pronouns. An Indefinite Pronoun is not specific
about the thing to which it refers. Note that all the pronouns that end in –one,
--body, or –thing fall into this category.
Anyone, anybody,anthing No one,nobody,nothing Each,every (as pronouns) Someone, somebody,something
Everyone,everybod,everything Whatever, whoever Either, Neither (may require a plural verb if paired with or/nor)
There are, however, 5 indefinite pronouns that can be either singular or plural depending on the
context of the sentence. You can remember these 5 by the acronym SANAM.
The SANAM PRONOUNS: some, any, none, all, more/most