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Lightbulb How to solve sentence correction questions - September 25th, 2006

This section is designed to enable you to master the most difficult Sentence Correction questions.

It divides the commonly tested errors into categories, and provides practice questions to help you gain mastery of each. Keep in mind that many, even most, Sentence Correction questions test more than one error at a time; our categories will reflect the sentence's primary challenge or the one that we want to highlight. Here's the specific breakdown of the section:

In this thread you will learn about the eight most commonly tested grammatical errors present in Sentence Correction questions, one every day.

You will then find practice questions that present particularly challenging demonstrations of each type of error.

Next you'll find another eight especially difficult errors that are less commonly tested but must be mastered by anyone aiming for CAT greatness.

Finally, there will be a test that will enable you to reinforce all that you have learned in these posts.
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Arrow Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - September 25th, 2006

STRATEGIES FOR SENTENCE CORRECTION QUESTIONS

As you make your way through this material, keep the following principles in mind: Read the original sentence carefully and try to spot grammatical errors by identifying whether something "sounds" wrong. Whenever possible, don't wait for the answer choices to reveal the sentence's error(s). When you find no flaws in the original sentence, use the differences among the answer choices to understand what grammatical or stylistic concepts are being tested and whether the original sentence presents the best option.

Be systematic. As you locate each error, eliminate all of the choices that contain that error. Do not read each answer choice back into the sentence individually; that wastes time and invites inaccuracy. Instead, identify the differences among the choices and eliminate those that offer less effective or grammatically incorrect alternatives.

Always look at every choice. Even when the original sentence seems fine, pay attention to the grammar that it tests and look through the choices systematically to see if any provides a better option. Remember that these questions test grammatical correctness and effectiveness of expression. Just because a sentence is grammatically correct, it won't be the correct option if another choice expresses the same idea more clearly.

Pay attention to the meaning of the sentence. Often the most difficult questions and answer choices will test your understanding of the original sentence and your ability to eliminate those choices that unnecessarily distort the original meaning.

Keep track of time. With approximately 4-6 Sentence Correction questions, 6-8 Critical Reasoning questions, 6-8 Para-Jumble questions, some word related questions and 15-25 Reading Comprehension questions in 40-50 minutes, you should aim to spend a minute and a quarter on each Sentence Correction question. Since the questions in this book are particularly difficult, you may need more time, but try to spend no more than an average of a minute and a half per question.
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Arrow Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - September 25th, 2006

EIGHT MOST COMMONLY TESTED ERRORS IN SENTENCE CORRECTION

1. MODIFIERS

The hardest thing about correcting modifiers is recognizing them; they're usually easy to fix. The CAT generally deals with modifying phrases. Usually set off by a comma, modifying phrases provide more information about the subject or object in the main clause of the sentence without naming it directly (so, in this sentence, usually set off by a comma modifies modifying phrases).

In order for a modifying phrase to be used correctly, it must be as close as possible to the thing or person it modifies. That's it; there's no other trick. Nevertheless, modifiers are so frequently misplaced and so commonly misused in everyday speech and writing that they can be hard to spot, which is why they constitute one of the primary and most frequent challenges in Sentence Correction questions.

SENTENCE CORRECTION PRACTICE SET 1

1. Of all the countries contiguous to China, the Soviet Union's borders were the most strongly defended.
(A) the Soviet Union's borders were the most strongly defended
(B) the borders of the Soviet Union were defended more strongly than any of the others
(C) the Soviet Union's borders stood out for the strength of their defensive capabilities
(D) the Soviet Union had the most strongly defended borders
(E) the Soviet Union's were the borders most strongly defended

2. In addition to providing more course offerings than Willow High School, the teachers at Menlo High School are better trained than those at Willow, having received more information on instructing a multilingual and culturally diverse student body.
(A) the teachers at Menlo High School are better trained than those at
(B) Menlo High School has teachers who are better trained than those at
(C) Menlo High School teachers are better trained than they are at
(D) the teachers at Menlo High School are better in training than those at
(E) Menlo High School has teachers who are better trained than at


Explanation: The Soviet Union's Borders
1. The introductory phrase, "Of all the countries contiguous to China," is the modifier. Clearly it describes a country contiguous to China that the author wants to comment on further. The country being modified, here the Soviet Union, must be named directly after the modifying phrase in order for the modifier to be used correctly, but in the original sentence we see not the Soviet Union but the Soviet Union's borders. Don't be fooled by the fact that (A) and (C) seem to begin by naming the Soviet Union. The possessive apostrophe makes the phrase the Soviet Union's borders equivalent to the borders of the Soviet Union, making the borders, not the country, the subject of the choices. Since the country, not its borders, should be modified by the original phrase, eliminate (A), (B), (C), and (E). (D) may not sound particularly eloquent, but it is the only grammatically correct, and therefore the only viable, option. (D) wins.

Explanation: Willow versus Menlo
2. Again we have an introductory modifying phrase. Here, it describes something with better course offerings than those of Willow High School, so clearly it modifies another school, later named as Menlo High School. Because the modifier describes Menlo High, Menlo must be named directly after the comma. Eliminate (A) and (D). Scanning for differences among the remaining choices, we see that they end differently: does than those at, than they are at, or than at work best with the rest of the sentence? The first works fine; we're dealing with teachers, so the pronoun (here those) should be plural, and it is; at is parallel with the at earlier in the choice, so that's fine; and than is necessary in a comparison begun with better. The second option is not grammatically incorrect but it's wordier than the first, so eliminate (C). The final is grammatically incorrect since those is necessary in order for the sentence to compare (as it must) teachers to teachers. We'll return to pronouns and word pairs later. (B) is correct.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

SUBODH KANT can identify modifiers effortlessly. In order to become perfectly familiar with them, practice identifying them in the articles or books you read and apply your skill to the CAT.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

SENTENCE CORRECTION PRACTICE SET 2

3. In 1905, The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton's novel about the blighted aspirations of Lily Bart was published by Scribner's and it was a reputable press in the early twentieth century.
(A) Lily Bart was published by Scribner's and it was
(B) Lily Bart, published by Scribner's, and was
(C) Lily Bart was published by Scribner's, being
(D) Lily Bart, which was published by Scribner's, was
(E) Lily Bart, was published by Scribner's,

4. Declining revenues resulting from a decrease in business travel, a source of income without which most commercial airlines could not survive, are going to force many commercial airlines to increase prices and decrease services in the coming months.
(A) a source of income without which most commercial airlines could not survive, are
(B) a source of income without which most commercial airlines could not survive, is
(C) and most commercial airlines use it as a source of income to survive with, are
(D) which is a source of income which is needed by most commercial airlines who could not survive without it, are
(E) which most commercial airlines use as a source of income without which they are unable to survive, is

5. Dreading another trip to the cat clinic, her veterinarian was persuaded to treat her cat at her home, a rather combative two-year-old black male.
(A) her veterinarian was persuaded to treat her cat at her home, a rather combative two-year-old black male
(B) she persuaded her veterinarian to treat her cat at her home, the cat being a rather combative two-year-old black male
(C) Jessica persuaded her veterinarian to treat her cat, a rather combative two-year-old black male, at her home
(D) Jessica persuaded her veterinarian that her rather combative two-year-old black male cat would best be treated at her home
(E) she persuaded her veterinarian that her home should be the place that her rather combative two-year-old black male cat was treated at

Explanation: The House of Little Mirth
3. Here the modifier comes at the end; a reputable press in the early twentieth century modifies Scribner's. Once you spot the modifier, you know that it must directly follow Scribner's and you can eliminate every choice except (E). Since the modifier directly describes Scribner's, it should remain a modifier and not be separated from Scribner's by and [it] was. The addition of and suggests that what follows and and what precedes it are different ideas, that Scribner's and its reputation are equally and distinctly important to the sentence. For the purposes of this sentence, the two ideas are intimately related since the final phrase exists only to provide more information about Scribner's, not to be stressed in its own right. Therefore, the final phrase should modify Scribner's and you can eliminate (A) and (B). As for (C), being is unnecessary and therefore creates an error in expression. Finally, (D) suggests that Lily Bart was the reputable press. Only (E) uses the modifier correctly.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

SUBODH KANT knows that Sentence Correction questions containing modifier errors can be answered quickly and accurately by one who knows how they work. Since there's often only one choice that uses the modifier correctly, mastering modifiers can result in fast points.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

Explanation: Struggling Airlines
4. No, this isn't the most eloquent sentence that one could write, but it is grammatically correct and uses modifiers correctly. In the original sentence, the clause beginning a source modifies business travel, and follows it immediately, as any well placed modifier should. Answer choices (C) and (D) create an error by altering that clause so that it no longer acts as a modifier, though it must for the same reasons that Scribner's needed its modifier above. The remaining choices differ with respect to the final verb: is is or are correct? Since the subject of the sentence is declining revenues, itself plural, then the verb should be are. Eliminate (B) arid (E). Only (A) remains.

Explanation: The Combative Cat
5. This sentence contains two modifier challenges: the introductory clause marks one modifier and the final clause (a rather combative...) marks another. As the sentence stands, the initial modifier is what's known as a dangling modifier; there is no subject in the sentence that it can modify. Knowing that you need the name of whoever dreads this trip to follow the modifier, you can eliminate (A), (B), and (E). She in (B) is unacceptable because the sentence doesn't tell you who "she" is. Both (C) and (D) correctly place the second unflattering modifier next to cat, but (D) is certainly wordier (would best be treated loses when compared to to treat). That leaves (C).
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Arrow Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - September 25th, 2006

2. IDIOMS

The CAT test makers love to test idioms, which we can define as speech forms that follow no general rules. For instance, there's no particular reason we say "I prefer rice to pasta" rather than "I prefer rice over pasta," but the first includes the correct idiom. You'll see many idioms like the one in the previous sentence that test your ability to match the verb (here prefer) with the correct preposition (to), and many that test common word pairs (not only must be followed by but or but also, for instance). Since there is no larger grammatical rule at play here, your ability to master Sentence Correction questions containing idioms depends on your ability to isolate the idiom and determine which option sounds best based on your knowledge of them.

SENTENCE CORRECTION PRACTICE SET 3

6. In the past few months, there has been extensive dispute over if fare hikes should be a first or last recourse in improving the transit system.
(A) over if fare hikes should be a first or last recourse
(B) about if fare hikes are a first or last recourse
(C) about hiking fares as being a first or last recourse
(D) over whether fare hikes should be a first or last recourse
(E) concerning fare hikes and whether to raise them as a first or last recourse

7. More adeptly handling responsibility than his predecessors were able to do the new owner of the property rapidly increased the production rate of the land.
(A) More adeptly handling responsibility than his predecessors were able to do
(B) As he was more adept at handling responsibility than were his predecessors
(C) Handling more responsibilities adeptly than his predecessors
(D) More adept than his predecessors at handling responsibility
(E) Since he handled responsibility in a manner more adept than that of his predecessors

Explanation: Transit Fare Hike
6. The key idiom in the sentence is dispute; the sentence asks you to determine which is the correct preposition that should follow it. Skimming through the answer choices, you see that you have several options. Excerpt the idiom and ask yourself, assuming that one has to discuss such things, does one talk about a dispute "over" an issue, "about" an issue, or "concerning" an issue? The first is the correct idiom, so eliminate (B), (C), and (E). The only difference between (A) and (D) is the use of if or whether. Memorize this fact if you don't know it already: whether is the correct choice when the sentence describes alternatives; if is correct when it describes a hypothetical situation (whether to participate versus if he participated, he would...). Since this sentence presents two alternative options (first or last recourse), whether is correct. That leaves (D).

__________________________________________________ _____________________

SUBODH KANT knows that idioms can't be explained by stable rules; idioms are what they are and there's often no more to say about them. He identifies the idioms he doesn't know and memorizes them, knowing that idioms will show up frequently on the exam.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

Explanation: Adept Management
7. One way to begin to correct this sentence is to recognize that word order itself can be idiomatic or unidiomatic. The initial phrase more adeptly handling sees several alterations in the choices, so let's start there. The options are: more adept at handling, handling more... adeptly, and handled... in a manner more adept. The word order in (C) and (E) is unidiomatic; (C) wrongly splits up more and adeptly and (E) should read in a more adept manner. The remaining options are idiomatically correct, but (A) and (B) are unnecessarily wordy, especially when compared to (D). In (A), were able to do is unnecessary, and as he was and were are both unnecessary in (B). We'll come back to wordiness in the section on expression. (D) it is.

SENTENCE CORRECTION PRACTICE SET 4

8. In commercial garment construction, one advantage of serging over single-needle sewing is that the seam allowance is overcast as the seam is sewn instead of with a separate process requiring deeper seam allowances.
(A) instead of with
(B) rather than in
(C) in contrast with
(D) as opposed to
(E) instead of

9. American executives, unlike their Japanese counterparts, have pressure to show high profits in each quarterly report, with little thought given to long-term goals.
(A) have pressure to show
(B) are under pressure to show
(C) are under the pressure of showing
(D) are pressured toward showing
(E) have pressure that they should show

10. However much parents in Johannson's district may agree that the instruction of moral values should take place in the elementary school classroom, it is difficult for them to arrive at consensus concerning what those values are and how they should be taught.
(A) However much parents in Johannson's district may agree that
(B) Despite the fact that parents in Johannson's district may agree that
(C) There is general agreement among the parents in Johannson's district that
(D) Although the parents in Johannson's district agree for
(E) Even though the parents in Johannson's district agree

Explanation: To Serge or Not to Serge
8. Beware of the short ones: their difficulty often compensates for their brevity. Here you're asked for the proper terms to express a fascinating comparison between serging and single-needle sewing. All of the options describe alternatives, but only one gets the idiom right: with is wrong in the original; instead of is okay, but the seam allowance isn't sewn with a separate process but in a separate process. Eliminate (A) and (C). (D) and (E) are wrong because they don't express the parallel in the sentence. The sentence describes two options: overcasting as the seam is sewn or in a separate process. The correct answer choice needs to include in at the end so that the two options can be grammatically parallel. We'll be talking about parallelism in just a bit. Only choice (B) remains.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

SUBODH KANT doesn't forget to read her final choice back into the sentence. He knows that it's only possible to spot certain errors when the choice is viewed in the context of the sentence.
__________________________________________________ _____________________

Explanation: The Pressure for Profits
9. Often the explanations for idiom questions aren't very satisfying because, well, an idiom is just right or wrong and doesn't follow larger rules. So, in this question, have pressure to show just isn't idiomatically correct. Compare it to the choices: even though are underpressure to show is wordier, it's a familiar and correct idiom. (C) is a wordier rendition of (B) so eliminate it. (E) is a wordier and equally incorrect version of (A) so take it out too. (D) has the wrong idiom: toward isn't the correct preposition. (B) remains.

Explanation: Morals and Elementary School
10. The options for this sentence present you with a list of different idioms from which to choose. Start with the end: is agree that, agree for, or agree correct? The first is fine, the second is unidiomatic because for doesn't go with agree, and the third is out because that is necessary in order for the sentence to make sense. That leaves (A), (B), and (C). (A) isn't particularly eloquent, but it's not grammatically flawed. (B) is out because Despite the fact doesn't fit with may agree (it can be a fact that they agree, but if we don't know whether they agree, then there's no fact to discuss). (C) is wordy, passive (more on this later), and it doesn't agree with the rest of the sentence; if you're skeptical, try reading it in. Only (A) survives.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

SUBODH KANT doesn't worry about correcting the nonunderlined portion of the sentence. Even if it's awkwardly phrased, that's not your problem to solve.
__________________________________________________ _____________________
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Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - July 22nd, 2007

really ..one needs to focus on all these aspects
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Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - July 25th, 2007

wats gud for basics in sc
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Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - September 12th, 2008

hey where is the continuation of this thread??? i mean definetly there should be other parts like subject verb agreement
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Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - September 15th, 2008

whr is the continuing part of this thread ????
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Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - December 24th, 2010

where are the other point????????...
plz some1 help...
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Satyendra Pandey
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Thumbs up Re: How to solve sentence correction questions - February 10th, 2012

Despite all these things...Practice is the key that will help you to identify all the mistakes in the sentences....

This book Might help you...

RS Agarwal Objective General English
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