Sunday, September 28, 2008

SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE

Very often, the GMAT takers get confused in a sentence correction question because they are unable to connect one part of the sentence with another. This is because of the unnecessary and distracting information filled between the essential parts of the sentence. Many GMAT takers are unable to filter out this useless information.

Reducing a sentence by blotting out or ignoring the unnecessary part proves to be highly effective in sentences which are long and unnecessary wordy. For every GMAT aspirant, the habit of reducing sentences should form a part of sentence correction techniques. After understanding what the sentence means, a student can reduce the sentence to find grammatical errors (if any) in it.

What are parts that you can remove from a sentence without causing much change in the sentence? The list is long and depends mostly depends on your intuitive understanding but given below are some of the parts you can remove.

Nouns apart from the subject.

Original Form- “A calendar stick carved centuries ago by the Winnebago tribe may provide…”

Reduced Form- “A calendar stick may provide…”

Original Form- “A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount…

Reduced Form- “A 1972 agreement reduced the amount…

Modifiers.

Original Form- “A controversial figure throughout most of his public life, the Black leader Marcus Garvey advocated that some Blacks return

Reduced Form- Marcus Garvey advocated that some Blacks return

Information between two commas.

Original Form- A new phenomena, which is visible at Managua’s major intersections, are waves of vendors and beggars, which include many children and mob cars at the stoplights.

Reduced Form- A new phenomena are waves of vendors and beggars, which include many children and mob cars at the stoplights.

In this respect, be on lookout for information that is lying between two commas and that beginning with a ‘which’.

Some more examples of Sentence Reduction

1. Original Form- Although the Supreme Court ruled as long ago as 1880 that Blacks could not be excluded outright from jury service, nearly a century of case-by-case adjudication has been necessary to develop and enforce the principle that all juries must be drawn from “a fair cross section of the community.”

Unnecessary part: Although the Supreme Court ruled as long ago as 1880 that Blacks could not be excluded outright from jury service

Reduced Form: Nearly a century of case-by-case adjudication…

2. Original Form: In theory, international civil servants at the United Nations are prohibited from continuing to draw salaries from their own governments; in practice, however, some governments merely substitute living allowances for their employees’ paychecks, assigned by them to the United Nations.

Unnecessary part: In theory, international civil servants at the United Nations are prohibited from continuing to draw salaries from their own governments; in practice, however,

Reduced Form: Some governments merely substitute living allowances..

Now let’s see some examples of applying this technique.

3. A firm that specializes in the analysis of handwriting claims from a one-page writing sample that it can assess more than three hundred personality traits, including enthusiasm, imagination, and ambition.

(A) from a one-page writing sample that it can assess

(B) from a one-page writing sample it has the ability of assessing

(C) the ability, from a one-page writing sample, of assessing

(D) to be able, from a one-page writing sample, to assess

(E) being able to assess, from a one-page writing sample,

Reduced Sentence: A firm claims…

Let’s go further and try to fit the options-

(A) A firm claims from a one-page writing sample that it can assess

(B) A firm claims from a one-page writing sample it has the ability of assessing

(C) A firm claims the ability, from a one-page writing sample, of assessing

(D) A firm claims to be able, from a one-page writing sample, to assess

(E) A firm claims being able to assess, from a one-page writing sample,

Now can you get the answer? Yes you can. Only the beginning of D will come after this.

Here’s some more-

4. A huge flying reptile that died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(A) believed to be

(B) and that is believed to be

(C) and it is believed to have been

(D) which was, it is believed,

(E) which is believed to be

Reduced Sentence: The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet,

Let’s fit the options now

(A) The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(B) The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, and that is believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(C) The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, and it is believed to have been the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(D) The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, which was, it is believed, the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

(E) The Quetzalcoatlus had a wingspan of 36 feet, which is believed to be the largest flying creature the world has ever seen.

A little knowledge of modifiers will tell you that only beginning of C will form the continuation of the sentence.

5. According to Interstudy, a nonprofit organization that studies health maintenance organizations (HMO’s), they estimate that, in comparison to last year, when only 36 percent of the nation’s 607 HMO’s was profitable, this year 73 percent will be.

(A) they estimate that, in comparison to last year, when only 36 percent of the nation’s 607 HMO’s was profitable, this year 73 percent will be

(B) compared to only 36 percent of the nation’s 607 HMO’s being profitable last year, they estimate 73 percent would be this year

(C) only 36 percent of the nation’s 607 HMO’s were profitable last year; it estimates that this year 73 percent will be

(D) it estimates 73 percent of the nation’s 607 HMO’s would be profitable this year; last year that was only 36 percent.

(E) only 36 percent of the nation’s 607 HMO’s last year were profitable, whereas they estimate it this year to be 73 percent

The sentence should read like- According to Interstudy, …...,

Now let’s try the beginning of each option:

(A) According to Interstudy, they estimate that..

(B) According to Interstudy, compared to only..

(C) According to Interstudy, only 36 percent..

(D) According to Interstudy, it estimates..

(E) According to Interstudy, only 36 percent..

Only beginnings of C and E sound good. Sentence E has ‘they’ in it, which cannot refer to Interstudy. Hence, C is the answer.

6. According to scientists at the University of California, the pattern of changes that have occurred in human DNA over the millennia indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who lived in Africa sometime between 140,000 and 280,000 years ago.

(A) indicate the possibility that everyone alive today might be descended from a single female ancestor who

(B) indicate that everyone alive today might possibly be a descendant of a single female ancestor who had

(C) may indicate that everyone alive today has descended from a single female ancestor who had

(D) indicates that everyone alive today may be a descendant of a single female ancestor who

(E) indicates that everyone alive today might be a descendant from a single female ancestor who

The Sentence can be cleaned to read as “According to the scientists, the pattern….”

Now let’s fit the beginning of each option

(A) According to the scientists, the pattern indicate the..

(B) According to the scientists, the pattern indicate that..

(C) According to the scientists, the pattern may indicate..

(D) According to the scientists, the pattern indicates that..

(E) According to the scientists, the pattern indicates that..

Since pattern is singular only option D and E are left as they use ‘indicates’. The correct usage is “descendant of” and hence D is correct.

3 comments:

arvind said...

Hi
The topic posted regarding sentence correction is excellent. Is this the complete summary for solving sentence correction topic or is there any more part left
Thank u

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