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SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Total Gadha - Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 10:31 AM
 

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.

â–¡ 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...

â–¡ 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

â–¡ 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 (HMOs), they estimate that, in comparison to last year, when only 36 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs 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 HMOs was profitable, this year 73 percent will be

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

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

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

(E) only 36 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs 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.

I am afraid I shall have to end here and leave the rest of it for my CBT Club students. I shall cover some problems based on this in the CBT Club this week.

 

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Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by rahul goyal - Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 11:15 AM
  highly informative and gives an insight to look into sentence correction problems with a different angle as well.
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Ashu Singh - Thursday, 30 November 2006, 12:00 AM
  This analysis will definately make things much easier for people who are struggling with S.C. I beleive this approach will only come after a lot of practice and one must get tuned to processing multiple information and as TG suggested, filter out the 'noise'
I'll share one related experience.

1.        Although Napoleon’s army entered Russia with far more supplies than they had in their previous campaigns, it had provisions for only twenty-four days.

(A) they had in their previous campaigns

(B) their previous campaigns had had

(C) they had for any previous campaign

(D) in their previous campaigns(E)

(E) for any previous campaign


I struggled through this one, but the catch was simpler than expected.

All the choices except E used army as plural, while E uses it as a collective noun, hence singular.

What T.G is attempting is to try and get you focus on necessary details while ignoring the unnecessary portion.

Good work T.G



Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by rohan pandey - Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 02:24 PM
  i got 8.67 out of 13 in your sentence correction quiz,where do i stand?
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Kunal Gupta - Friday, 25 May 2007, 09:44 AM
 

Got a funda to share:

"I smell bad" and "I smell badly" have completely different meanings! When you say, "I smell badly," badly is an adverb that modifies the verb smell. You're saying your sniffer isn't working,. When you say, "I smell bad," bad is an adjective, which means it modifies a noun. You're saying that you stink

Hope u liked it..

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Dagny Taggart - Saturday, 26 May 2007, 07:22 AM
  Great Kunal! smile
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by pradeep ganesh - Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 07:54 PM
  It is really helpful.
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Ankita Kayal - Friday, 14 March 2008, 10:31 AM
 

I had never approched sentence correction from this perspective. Really great work!!!!

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Priyajit Mohanty - Thursday, 22 May 2008, 01:39 AM
 

nice concept.....approve....highly applicable for many sentence correction questions.

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Aditya Zutshi - Sunday, 25 May 2008, 11:38 AM
  A great section... Thanks a tonne TG... Ashu u gave a nice example... Thanks smile
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Aditya Pradhan - Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 12:50 PM
 

guys..

1. she is taller than him.

2. she is taller than he.

which one is a right sentence and why?

please help....

 

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by tashu agar - Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 05:37 PM
 

Hi Rohan,

Can u tell me where can i find sentence correction quiz.

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by nikunj garg - Friday, 15 August 2008, 07:01 PM
  hi Aditya,

as per the grammar norms, the correct sentence is " she is taller than he"

the rule is very simple. In this sentence we want to say that she is taller than he [is]. Similarly, he obeys his teacher quicker than I [do] .

for more clarity consider the following examples:-

she loves her mother as much as I  --->indicates ---> she loves her mother as much as I [DO]

she loves her mother as much as ME --->indicates ---> she loves her mother as much as "SHE LOVES me"

TG & Dagny correct me if m wrong ...

nicks
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Aditya Pradhan - Wednesday, 20 August 2008, 04:34 PM
  thanks a ton nikunj...smile
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Aditya Pradhan - Wednesday, 20 August 2008, 04:34 PM
  thanks a ton nikunj...smile
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by krd sh - Tuesday, 2 September 2008, 05:47 PM
 

hi Dagny mam,

thanks for this informative and interesting article but I did not understand that why cann't option E be the answer for example 3rd ?

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by ashish khr - Monday, 22 September 2008, 03:17 PM
 

hi tangy mam

 thnx for

SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE

now give SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 2 CUT THE NOISE

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Deepika Khandelwal - Monday, 9 March 2009, 03:39 PM
  Hi...TG...
can you please give more on sentence correction....

Thanks,
Deepika
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Abhishek Vinayin - Monday, 30 March 2009, 03:43 PM
  Need more of these, please add on the good post , that it is
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by amith devatha - Monday, 30 March 2009, 09:18 PM
  obviously

she is taller than him.

is the right answer.
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by kat goel - Thursday, 11 June 2009, 10:50 PM
  Hi TG ,

I read somewhere that after preposition , objective case of pronoun is used .
So which one is correct ?

She is taller than him.
or
She is taller than he .
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Manoj Bhatia - Friday, 26 June 2009, 03:29 PM
  This is quite an interesting article and gave a good insight of how other people had scored better than me smile
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Ravi Nukala - Friday, 10 July 2009, 03:09 PM
 

Sir,

Its a very special article which looks pretty simple but captures the gyst of the sentence correction. Thank you.

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by nupur sarraf - Monday, 14 September 2009, 08:30 PM
  can we use these techniques for CAT as well?
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by abhishek Gupta - Saturday, 3 October 2009, 05:10 PM
 

When occurring after "than" or "as" the objective form of a pronoun is used. Hence She is taller than him is the correct answer. Unless there is a verb succeeding the pronoun in which case the nominative form of the pronun will be used.

Secondly when the pronoun is the object of the verb or a preposition we use the objective case again. 

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by nimesh sultania - Wednesday, 7 October 2009, 03:21 PM
  There seems to be a contention between "She is taller than he" and "She is taller than him".
Can TG or Dagny give some input on what is correct according to CAT grammar ?
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by GAGAN JAIN - Tuesday, 13 October 2009, 09:24 PM
 

Hi Aditya,,

The Correct sentence is 2nd one i.e. She is talled than he...

Reason.--.

After the word  'than' , only nominitive case of pronoun / noun will be used.

hope this will solve your problem..

Gagan

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Alan Kumar - Wednesday, 14 October 2009, 01:52 AM
 

Hi TG,

great article ...as usual TG ur the best of all.... the way u have explained is so good that any guy can understand how to remove unwanted things..

Thanks smile

- Alan-

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by rahul dbond - Sunday, 17 January 2010, 09:31 PM
  hi tg...
can we also apply these in cat questions?
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by aniket anand - Saturday, 12 June 2010, 10:57 PM
  but nikunj as we studied in our juniour classes that "she is taller than him" is correct statement whn we use it as comparision..thn hw come it can be wrong sentence 8-o



and aditya gupta will u support ur ans by few examples thn logic will b vry much clear for me ..
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Varun Aggarwal - Sunday, 16 October 2011, 07:29 PM
  Hi Aditya
Correct one is 2nd one i.e. she is taller than he (is). Remember, comparison has to be between two similar things(apples to apples and oranges to oranges).......So with she it will be subject form and not 'him'.
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by Bhargav Jhaveri - Saturday, 22 October 2011, 01:41 AM
  She is taller than he(is).

I think bracket itself would clarify the answer
Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by tgdel437 tg - Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 02:54 PM
 

Vry beautiful article Dagny!!!

Thankuuu!!!!

 

Regards,

Radha

Re: SENTENCE CORRECTION TIPS- 1 CUT THE NOISE
by HARDIK RANKA - Wednesday, 13 August 2014, 03:06 PM
  According to Interstudy, a nonprofit organization that studies health maintenance organizations (HMOs), they estimate that, in comparison to last year, when only 36 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs 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 HMOs was profitable, this year 73 percent will be
(B) compared to only 36 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs being profitable last year, they estimate 73 percent would be this year
(C) only 36 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs were profitable last year; it estimates that this year 73 percent will be
(D) it estimates 73 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs would be profitable this year; last year that was only 36 percent.
(E) only 36 percent of the nation's 607 HMOs last year were profitable, whereas they estimate it this year to be 73 percent.

how can C be the answer? please explain...  "73 percent will be " doesnt look appropriate.