SENTENCE CORRETION FOR GMAT 1.

Run on sentence :
An independent clause is a clause that could stand on its own as a complete sentence: it must have a noun and a verb. Every sentence needs at least one independent clause as its core statement. We can join two independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction (e.g. and, or, but, nor, for, yet, so, etc.) We can also take an independent clause and make it dependent (a.k.a subordinate) by putting a subordinating conjunction in front of it; in this case, a different independent clause would have to remain independent as the core statement of the full sentence. Folks sometimes use the mnemonic “on a white bus” to remember the subordinating conjunctions in English: O = only if N = now that A = although, after, as WH = while, when, whereas, whenever, wherever, whether or not I = if, in case T = though E = even though, even if B = because, before U = until, unless S = since, so (that) You can join independent clauses with coordinating conjunctions, and/or you can include one or more dependent clauses as long at the sentence overall has an independent clause. A run-on sentence is the juxtaposition of two independent clauses without an appropriate conjunction. It need not be long. All you need for an independent clause is two words, a subject + a verb. Therefore, all you need for a run-on sentence is four words; for example: Fish swim birds fly. That sentence is a classic run-on sentence: noun verb noun verb, with no conjunction of any kind. We could make it a correct “not run-on” sentence either by adding a coordinating conjunction (“Fish swim, but birds fly.”) or a subordinating conjunction (“While fish swim, birds fly.”) Having deepened your understanding of run-on sentences, you may want to take a second crack at this sentence before reading the explanation. 1) Although offering a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century — indeed the name comes from the Italian forte (“loud”) + piano (“soft”) — the fortepiano would now sound dynamically limited compared to our modern grand pianos. Although offering a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century Although the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century, offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord Although it offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original pianoforte, invented in the early eighteenth century Invented in the early eighteenth century, the original pianoforte offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord The original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century, although it offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord

Explanation of the Practice Question (A) Although offering a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century This is one of the classic mistakes on the GMAT Sentence Correction. A subordinating conjunction such as “although” must be followed by a bonafide noun-verb, not simply by a participle. Correct: “Although the original fortepiano offered etc.” Incorrect: “Although offering etc.” In addition to that mistake, notice that, after the first comma, we have the freestanding noun “the original fortepiano,” a subject without a verb. (A) has a few mistakes, so it is incorrect.

(B) Although the original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century, offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord This one correctly follows “Although” with a bonafide noun-verb clause. In fact, (B) is the correct answer. (C) Although it offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord, the original pianoforte, invented in the early eighteenth century This one correctly follows “Although” with a bonafide noun-verb clause, but then has the free-standing noun “the original fortepiano,” a subject without a verb. (C) is incorrect. (D) Invented in the early eighteenth century, the original pianoforte offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord This one begins with the statement “invented in the early eighteenth century”: this is a minor detail, tangential to the main point of the sentence, so it’s somewhat jarring as the opening of the sentence. The BIG problem with this one, though, is that we have independent clause “the original pianoforte offered …” and then, after the dashed section, another independent clause “the fortepiano would now sound …” and there’s no conjunction. This is the run-on sentence, and therefore, (D) is incorrect. (E) The original fortepiano, invented in the early eighteenth century, although it offered a dynamic range simply absent on the harpsichord This one is strange. We get a subject, followed by a modifier and then a subordinate clause, but there’s no verb. We have a free-standing noun without a verb. This sentence has the form noun-noun-verb, not exactly a run-on, but still very much incorrect. Search the complex SC questions, in the OG and elsewhere, and you will find run-on sentences disguises, as this one was, lurking among the answer choices. With a clearer understand of run-ons, you will be that much more efficient in tackling GMAT Sentence Correction.

2. That
As you know “THAT” is a very common clause marker. It is a multi-faceted word. In this article we will discuss its two primary uses. Note “that” may be used in other ways but these two uses constitute the most common uses of ‘that’.

Let’s take an example: Mary made claims that pertain to her achievements in high school. In this sentence “that” refers to the preceding noun – claims - and the entire purple clause modifies the noun – claims. As you can see, “that” is the subject of the purple clause. Its verb is “pertain”. Let’s take another example: Retailers do not approve of the apps that allow shoppers to perform immediate price-comparison by scanning a product on the shelf. In this sentence “that” refers to the preceding noun – apps - and the entire purple clause modifies this noun – apps. As you can see, “that” is the subject of the purple clause. Its verb is “allow”.

The subject of the blue clause is “improvement” and its verb is “is”. one in which it is subject of the clause and another one in which it is simply a connector. In this sentence “that” connects clauses. “That” connects two clauses. When you come across the word “that”. o Analysts strongly believe o Analysts strongly believe what? o Analysts strongly believe ♣ that manufacturing sector will continue to act as drag…. It’s simple: 1. o Mary found certain evidence o What kind of evidence o Evidence that even CSI could not find As you can see. It is not the subject of the purple or blue clause. ♣ that the improvement is unlikely until… As you can see. It acts as a connector. The subject of the purple clause is “she” and its verb is “won”. HOW TO APPLY THIS KNOWLEDGE Ok so now that you know that “that” can typically act in two capacities. Let’s take another example: The analysts strongly believe that the manufacturing sector will continue to act as a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter and that the improvement is unlikely until regional structural issues are addressed and the broader global backdrop brightens.“That” modifies the preceding noun through this modifying clause and acts as the subject of this clause. you should know right away that there is another clause. how should you utilize this knowledge to simplify the clauses. The subject of the purple clause is “CSI” and its verb is “could not find”. . Mary claims Mary claims what? Mary claims that she won several awards in her high school. Each clause connected by ‘that’ requires its own subject and verb pair. “that” is simply a connector. It is not the subject of the purple clause. In this sentence “that” connects two clauses. In this sentence “that” connects two clauses. “that” is simply a connector. Let’s take one more example: Mary found certain evidence that even the Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) could not find. The subject of the purple clause is “manufacturing sector” and its verb is “will continue”. “that” is simply a connector. Let’s take an example: Mary claims that she won several awards in her high school. It is not the subject of the purple clause. As you can see.

The second error is the idiomatic usage of the phrase – dated to be. APPLICATION ON OFFICIAL QUESTION I – OG13#140 Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid that eradicated the dinosaurs has been dated to be 3. Notice how you can now focus on each clause one by one and figure out the grammatical correctness and errors. has been dated at 3. C. We also clearly see the verbs for the plural subject – rock samples. SENTENCE STRUCTURE Now we will simplify the sentence structure. Then when you get to identifying the SV pairs of each clause. However. So the correct choice should have plural verbs. Both verbs are plural. has been dated to be 3.2. ANSWER CHOICE ANALYSIS Now we will review each answer choice one by one and find the correct answer: A. We will see more of this in our SC2 – Sentence Structure session. which signals presence of a clause. Details about the size of this asteroid have been provided in the sentence. we can perform the error analysis. It has its verb “eradicated”. The portion “taken from the remains of an asteroid” is a verb-ed modifier. EXERCISE For the sentences below. Verb does not exist. Idiom error as discussed B. have been dated as being 3. This is the first and the primary error.47 billion years old and thus is =>SV Number error. MEANING ANALYSIS This sentence is about certain rock samples that were taken from remains of an asteroid. Is there any problem with the sentence with regards to the SV pairs? 3. do the following: 1. The idiom has been corrected. it could act as subject and it could simply be a connector. “taken” cannot be a verb since it is not preceded by is/are/was/were.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth. 2. – that eradicated the dinosaurs. How will you correct the error? .47 billion years old and thus =>Idiom error. have been dated at 3. We will now solve this question. The main aim of this sentence is to specify the age of these rock samples and to make the claim that these rock samples are evidence of the oldest known asteroid impact on earth. have been dated to be 3. Then we continue reading and we find what appear to be the two verbs of the subject “rock samples” in the beginning of the sentence. As we continue reading. we come across the word “that”. Per our sentence structure and meaning analysis. The correct idiom is ‘dated at’. keep in mind that depending upon how “that” is used. In this choice. ERROR ANALYSIS Now that we have the simplified sentence structure. the verb “is” has been removed and hence second verb no longer exists. We see that the subject of first clause is “rock samples”. Identify all SV pairs in the sentence above. As you can see “that” in this sentence refers to the preceding noun – asteroid.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth. Second verb is missing as in choice B E.47 billion years old and thus are =>Correct choice.47 billion years old and thus =>SV Number error.47 billion years old and thus are =>Idiom error D. • Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid • that eradicated the dinosaurs • has been dated to be 3. it was extremely simple to arrive at the correct answer once we simplified the sentence structure. TAKE AWAY This is a 700 level question. These verbs are singular and hence there is SV number error here. The SV pairs have been color coded. we know that there are two verbs for the subject – rock samples.

you can solve over 95% of the SC questions through the methods described above. I would not be surprised to know that the answer surprised you. The two common functions are listed below: a. Furthermore. You can simplify the sentence into clauses if you follow the clause markers. Following are the three sentences. The portion “taken from the remains of an asteroid” is a verbed modifier. Subject of the Clause b. James created a magnificent design by using latest graphic design tools. a work that. make sure that you have reviewed this article thoroughly and analyzed the two exercise sentences above. Alexander Pope began his translation of the Iliad. Connector SC2.QUESTION 1: In a review of 2. pronounced the greatest translation in any language. To get the most of this session. taking him seven years until completion. identify which of the following are correct. we demonstrated how one can answer identify errors and spot the correct answer through “intended meaning”. James created a magnificent design by using latest graphic design tools. 2. “ NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS Before we start discussing about the functions of noun + noun modifiers. QUESTION 2 In 1713.47 billion years old and thus is evidence of the earliest known asteroid impact on Earth. “taken” cannot be a verb since it is not preceded by is/are/was/were. The usage of this modifier in all the above mentioned sentences is correct. “We see that the subject of first clause is “rock samples”. we come across the word “that”. James created a magnificent design by using latest graphic design tools. Here is a sample analysis of the first question. 2. On the basis of the usage of modifier. and that literary critic Samuel Johnson. In the next session – “SC2. none could be taken seriously. Pope’s contemporary. let’s do a little warm up exercise here. Identify majority of the errors. Bottom Line 1. In our experience. Sentence Structure and Grammar. The modifier that all the three sentences have here follows the structure of noun + noun modifier. two Swiss psychologists.000 studies of human behavior that date back to the 1940s. Identify the intended meaning 2. an experiment that many feared to do because of the instability in the output resulting from these tools. declaring that since most of the studies had failed to control for such variables as social class and family size. Rock samples taken from the remains of an asteroid about twice the size of the 6-mile-wide asteroid that eradicated the dinosaurs has been dated to be 3.SENTENCE STRUCTURE [VERBAL LIVE PREP CUSTOMERS] In “SC1-How to approach Sentence Correction”. – that eradicated the dinosaurs.Sentence Structure” we will discuss how you can leverage “sentence structure” to 1. we discussed the three pillars of Sentence Correction – Meaning. Well. 3. As we continue reading. a work acknowledged and appreciated by all investors. . which signals presence of a clause. “That” has many functions. NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS: CONFUSION All the above mentioned “warm up” sentences are correct. Then we continue reading and we find what appear to be the two verbs of the subject “rock samples” in the beginning of the sentence. 1. expensive but super helpful devices developed especially for minute detailing and elaboration.

this complex nature of noun + noun modifiers to be able to modify just about any aspect in a sentence leaves them confused as to how to identify which particular entity a noun + noun modifier is referring to in a particular sentence. The GMAT takers do possess some knowledge of such modifiers and their functions. a work acknowledged and appreciated by all investors. However. James created a magnificent design by using latest graphic design tools. they don’t modify an entity in a definite position in the sentence. James created a magnificent design by using latest graphic design tools. the preceding noun entity. Let’s understand this point through an example: In the above sentence. For example. Noun + Noun modifiers are very versatile modifiers. verb-ed or verb-ing modifier without a preceding comma can only modify the preceding noun entity. Another thing to keep in mind is that a noun + noun modifier must refer to only one entity in the sentence. Hence. a gift = noun that was in her wish list from a very long time = noun modifier . The modification done by these modifiers is completely driven by the context of the sentence. 2. “a gift that was in her wish list from a very long time” is the noun + noun modifier. James created a magnificent design by using latest graphic design tools. or a noun in the middle of the sentence. If the modification leads to slightest of ambiguity. This versatility of noun + noun modifiers to modify any aspect in a sentence makes them very complex and dreaded. Unlike the structure of other modifiers. The noun + noun modifiers are very versatile because despite having a definite structure. expensive but super helpful devices developed especially for minute detailing and elaboration. their structure does not restrict their modification to a particular entity in the sentence. an experiment that many feared to do because of the instability in the output resulting from these tools. they pray not to encounter these scary modifiers. 3. The noun + noun modifiers can modify the entire preceding clause.1. then the usage of this modifier will stand incorrect.

PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE This article is aimed at doing away with all the fears and confusions related to the usage of noun + noun modifiers. in this sentence. a Noun + Noun Modifier can be used to modify various entities in the preceding clause including the entire preceding clause itself. . Any one of them qualify to be in Kim’s wish list. there are two equally strong contenders for the modification of this noun + noun modifier – iPhone 4S and iPad 3. At the end of the article. in this sentence.Now. we will demonstrate how and in which scenarios. This entity can be the immediate preceding noun. Hence. a test taker may find it extremely difficult to identify the entity this modifier modifies in a sentence if he/she is unable to understand the intended logical meaning of the sentence. or the entire preceding clause. noun + noun modifiers are very versatile modifiers and can modify an entity in the sentence. NOUN + NOUN MODIFIERS: FUNCTION As already mentioned above. The modification of noun + noun modifiers completely depends on the context of the sentence. Hence use of this modifier here is incorrect. We can rectify this error by saying: In this sentence. In this article. making it clear that this item was in Kim’s wish list for a very long time. a noun in the middle of the preceding clause. Also. noun + noun modifier has been replaced by relative pronoun clause. Let’s discuss the “warm up” sentences to see how they are correct and the noun + noun modifier in each sentence is modifying which entity in the sentence and why. The noun + noun modifier “a gift that…” will make sense with both the entities. we have also included a small quiz for you to check your understanding of this particular modifier. since the modification of noun + noun modifiers is completely context driven. there is ambiguity about the modification of noun + noun modifier. We can interchange the devices to denote which article was in Kim’s wish list for long. Relative pronoun “which” clearly refers to the preceding noun iPad 3.

Then the modifier explains what kind of tool they are. Notice that “developed” is the verb-ed modifier here that is modifying the preceding noun entity “expensive but super helpful devices”. “expensive but super helpful devices developed especially for minute detailing and elaboration” is the noun + noun modifier. logically this modification will not make sense. NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER: MODIFYING PRECEDING NOUN Noun + Noun modifier can modify the immediate preceding noun entity if the context of the sentence demands so. because there is no other noun entity that it will make sense with. Sentence 3 of the “warm up” exercise falls into this category. Here. SIMPLE EXAMPLE: Noun + Noun modifier can modify the immediate preceding noun entity if the context of the sentence demands so. “design” cannot be classified as “tools”. However. Sentence 3 of the “warm up” exercise falls into this category. The noun “expensive but super helpful devices” can logically refer to the “latest graphic design tools”. . They are expensive but helpful devices that are especially created for certain specific tasks. expensive but super helpful devices = noun entity developed especially for minute detailing and elaboration = noun modifier. This sentence means that James created an excellent design by using latest design tools. Hence. Hence. Now “design” is another noun in the sentence.1. the noun + noun modifier (expensive but super helpful devices developed especially for minute detailing and elaboration) is modifying the preceding noun entity (latest graphic design tools) in this sentence because that is the only logical referent in the main clause. In this sentence. per the context of the sentence.

logically what can be referred as “a phenomenon…” in this sentence? The WWF can certainly be not classified as “a phenomenon”. the preceding noun. By the way. . an incident. In this sentence. let us first understand the intended meaning of the sentence. 2. It is the phenomenon that has cause by humans’ burning of fossil fuel. So. the noun + noun modifier is actually talking about the preceding noun entity “global warming” in that it is giving additional information about global warming which a phenomenon. Can “global warming” be called “a phenomenon” that most scientists agree is cause by humans? By all means. Here “that” refers to “a phenomenon”. It will do so by changing the environment in such ways that will be harmful to their habitats. per the context of the sentence. SIMPLE EXAMPLE: Sentence 2 of the “warm up” exercise falls into this category. So this entity is also rejected. The versatility of this modifier allows it zoom into any entity of the preceding clause to modify it. can “a phenomenon” be attributed to the action of declaring by the WWF? Certainly not because it does not make sense to say that the declaration is a phenomenon that most scientist agree is caused by a certain activity of humans. provided the context of the sentence demands such modification. Let’s understand this by examples. The sentence says that The WWF has declared that global warming will create havoc among migratory birds. Again. yes. So this noun is ruled out. global warming is a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by burning of fossil fuels by humans. The noun + noun modifier is referring to the immediate preceding noun in this official sentence. a phenomenon = noun entity that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels = noun modifier The noun modifier in this structure is a relative pronoun “that” clause. NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER: MODIFYING NOUN IN MIDDLE A noun + noun modifier can easily modify a noun entity in the middle of the preceding clause.OFFICIAL EXAMPLE: OG 12#118 (with correct answer choice C) In order to understand the modification in this sentence. “a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings' burning of fossil fuels” is the noun + noun modifier. Hence.

“Tools” cannot be called “a work”. The sentence says that James created an excellent design. “a work acknowledged and appreciated by all investors” is the noun + noun modifier. is it possible for this noun + noun modifier to refer to the preceding noun “latest graphic design tools”? Logically. per the logical context of the sentence. no it’s not. Let’s first analyze the modification with “translation”. a work = noun entity acknowledged and appreciated by all investors = noun modifier (verb-ed modifier) that modifies the preceding noun. let’s first get the meaning of this sentence.. Let’s first understand the meaning of this sentence. Per the context. OFFICIAL EXAMPLE: OG 12#48 (with correct answer choice B) Let’s take the first step. In this sentence. a work = noun entity that took… any language = noun modifier (relative pronoun “that” clause modifier) There are two nouns before “a work” that this modifier can refer to – “translation” and “Iliad”. This work of translation took him seven years.As usual. Now let’s ask. “a work acknowledged…” modifies a noun that appears somewhere in the middle of the preceding clause. Their creation can be classified as work but “tools” themselves are not work. any language” is the noun + noun modifier in this sentence. “a work. Johnson pronounced this work the greatest translation in any language. the only logical entity to which “a work acknowledged…” can be logically attributed to is “a magnificent design”. It makes absolute sense for “a work” to refer to “translation” . Pope started translating the Iliad. The sentence says that in 1713. Now. the noun entity “a work” must refer to refer to a logical entity. This is the work that James did. So as identified already.. So. It was a work that was acknowledged and appreciated by all investors. using latest graphic design tools.

using latest graphic design tools. Also. Hence. Johnson did not call the Iliad the greatest translation. this modification is logically impossible. a noun entity somewhere in the middle of the preceding clause. Let’s see how. They are tools. He called Iliad’s translation. it is the translation only that Johnson pronounced the greatest in any language. done by Pope. Now let’s see if “a work” can refer to “Iliad”. He took that long to translate Iliad.. logically it makes sense for “a work. kind of devices used for certain activities. In this case. “an experiment… these tools” is the noun + noun modifier. This noun + noun modifier cannot refer to the immediate preceding noun because “latest graphic design tools” are no experiment.because translation is the work that Pope did and this is the work that took him seven years too. Also. the noun + noun modifier will not refer to any particular entity but to the subject and the verb of the preceding clause. an experiment = noun entity that may… these tools = noun modifier (relative pronoun “that” clause modifier) So let’s consider and analyze the possible entities this noun + noun modifier can refer to. same logic again. NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER: MODIFYING PRECEDING CLAUSE Another entity that a noun + noun modifier can refer to is the entire preceding clause. Hence.. SIMPLE EXAMPLE: Sentence 2 of the “warm up” exercise falls into this classification. Let’s understand the meaning first. if the context demands such modification. any language”. As already highlighted in green. . This creation of the design by using latest design tools was an experiment that many were scared to do because the results that were obtained by using these tools were not stable. the greatest in any language. 3. What about a noun entity in the middle of the preceding clause – “design”? Well. James created an excellent design. a noun + noun modifier to refer to “translation”. Certainly not because Pope did not take seven years to finish Iliad.

singular “a phenomenon” does not agree in number with plural “prescriptions drugs”.“Design” itself is not an experiment that many were afraid to do. b. Can it modify another noun entity “half the increase in spending”? Logically it cannot because this information fails to incorporate the fact that only 24 products are responsible for this increase. The green portion of the sentence is the noun + noun modifier. Hence. This modification makes it clear why this increase is noteworthy. it does make sense to for this modifier to modify the entire preceding clause because James’ creation of the design by using the graphic design tools was an experiment because of the reason stated in the sentence. . drugs are becoming more expensive. OFFICIAL EXAMPLE: OG 12#83 (with correct answer choice B) Performing the ritual. This increase is phenomenal because of the fact that it has been happened because of the sale of mere 24 drugs. In 2000. Hence. However. There were two reasons for this incident: a. Hence. doctors are prescribing expensive drugs. Moreover. let’s first understand the meaning of this one. this noun + noun modifier refers to the entire preceding clause in this sentence. They are products. per the context of the sentence. just 24 products were responsible for increase in the money spent on prescriptions. this entity is rejected too. The noun modifiers present the reasons for this phenomenal increase in spending. it makes sense for the noun + noun modifier in this sentence that to modify the entire preceding clause. a phenomenon = noun “that is… high-cost drugs” = noun modifier (relative pronoun “that” clause modifier) Is this modifier modifying the preceding noun? It cannot do so because logically “prescriptions drugs” is no phenomenon.

A QUICK LOOK .

VERB-ING MODIFIER As discussed in our previous article named “Noun + Noun Modifiers: The most “versatile” modifiers” (modification-by-noun-noun-modifiers-137292. Noun + Noun Modifiers 2. when noun + noun modifier modifies the entire preceding clause. Despite these similarities. They also act like Verb-ed modifiers when they modify the preceding noun. it presents either additional information or the result of the preceding clause by associating itself with the subject and the verb of the preceding clause.html#p1112971). A noun + noun modifier can zoom into any entity in the preceding clause to modify it. the noun + noun modifier has no such restriction. then it always presents additional information about the preceding clause. without being restricted to modify the subject and the verb. However. The difference between these two kinds of modifiers is that when the verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma modifies the preceding clause. these modifiers can modify the preceding noun. It can simply modify just about any aspect of the preceding clause. They share a commonality with Verb-ing modifiers preceded by a comma in that both these modifiers modify the preceding clause. Another thing to notice here is that. they are quite different in the way they perform their jobs. a noun in the middle of the sentence. The verb-ing modifier preceded by a comma has to modify the subject and the verb together. Noun + Noun Modifiers remain distinct from Verb-ing and Verb-ed modifiers in their function and structure both. Verb-ing modifiers preceded by a comma.NOUN + NOUN MODIFIER VS.   OFFICIAL EXAMPLE: GMAT Prep . or the entire preceding clause. Even though these modifiers perform similar job of modifying the preceding clause. Let’s delve into these dissimilarities between Noun + Noun Modifiers and other modifiers. So now we know that there are two modifiers that can refer to entire preceding clause: 1.

The act of mere announcement cannot even represent first significant change. an increase = noun “that would amount…” and “that would represent…” = noun modifiers (relative pronoun clauses) By converting the verb-ing modifiers into noun + noun modifier. Logically. both the modifiers are referring to the subject and the verb of the preceding main clause. Here. we are able to rectify the modification error easily because now. This is the beauty of such modifiers. verb-ing modifiers “amounting…” and “representing…” have replaced with noun + noun modifiers “an increase that would amount to…” and “(an increase) that would represent…”. VERB-ING MODIFIERS . both preceded by comma. This increase will amount to roughly five miles per gallon and will represent the first significant change in the fuel efficiency of any class of passenger vehicle in almost 20 years.So let’s first understand the meaning of the sentence. Now let’s analyze the sentence with correct answer choice D: In this sentence. unlike the verb-ing modifiers. Hence. this does not make sense because announcement of plans cannot amount to five miles per gallon. the use of verb-ing modifiers is incorrect in this sentence. the noun + noun modifier need not modify the subject and the verb of the preceding clause. Here. It can easily zoon into “increase” to present more information about this aspect of the preceding clause. The sentence says that one automobile manufacturer has announced plans to increase the average fuel efficiency of its SUVs by 25% over the next five years. Now the way this sentence uses the verb-ing modifiers “amounting” and “resulting”. these modifiers seems to present the result of the preceding clause “One automobile manufacturer has announced plans…”.

arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish B. arachnids. and needless to mention one of the most dreaded concepts as well. we have a small warm up exercise. which forced C. A. then this article will surely help you.If your answer to Julio's question is "No". arachnids persuading an ant specialist at the university to advise him and publishing ANSWER KEY 1. This article is aimed at simplifying the usage of this “dreaded” modifier and helping you understand the functionality of this modifier better. Students have been throwing away healthy meals made available in school cafeteria by The Los Angeles Unified School District and bringing their own junk food to school and these forced the district to bring back some of the foods it worked so hard to replace. But before that. A. 1. The usage of this modifier often creates confusions because the function of a verb-ing modifier changes with the change in its placement in a sentence. . schools. persuading an ant specialist at the university to advise him and publishing C. schools. biologist Glauco Machado gathered enough information about large numbers of a relatively unstudied order of arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish his first scientific paper. Attempt this short quiz and see how well you understand this concept currently. school and these forced B. In three months. Verb-ing modifiers are one of the most heavily tested concepts in GMAT. forcing 2. C.

) UNDERSTANDING VERB-ING MODIFIERS As the name suggests. Placed after a clause NOT PRECEDED by a comma. In the beginning of a clause followed by a comma. Let’s discuss the first structure that brings us to our first rule set for this modifier. For example: Mary cooked delicious food. these modifiers modify a particular entity in the sentence. The verb-ing modifier can be placed after a clause and separated from the preceding clause by a comma. i.2. Rule Set #2 will be covered in a separate article soon to follow. where and how they appear in the sentence. 3.e. The modification depends upon the placement of the modifier in the sentence. using fresh condiments. The verb-ing modifiers can take three places in a sentence: 1. verb-ing modifiers are the words that are constituted from “verbs” by adding “ing” to them. PLACEMENT OF VERB-ING MODIFIERS The function played by a verb-ing modifier depends upon where and how it appears in the sentence. It communicates the meaning . Placed after a clause PRECEDED by a comma. they denote action. Needless to say that the function of the verb-ing modifier changes with the change in its placement in regards to the three structures mentioned above. the verb-ing modifier “using fresh condiments” denotes an action. In this sentence. Since these modifiers are made from verbs. A. 2.Mary used fresh condiments. Essentially. (Detailed solutions in sections RULE SET #1 and RULE SET #2 respectively. .

In this sentence. This sentence means that Mary made a beautiful bouquet.WHY THE CORRECT ANSWER IS CORRECT • Students have been throwing away healthy meals made available in school cafeteria by The Los Angeles Unified School District and bringing their own junk food to school and these forced the district to bring back some of the foods it worked so hard to replace. This means the modifier will modify the entire preceding clause.SIMPLE EXAMPLES: Presenting Additional Information • Mary made a beautiful bouquet. This means that this modifier modifies the preceding clause. winning accolades from every one. And how did she do it? This question is answered by the verb-ing modifier “arranging rare exotic flowers in certain symmetry”. they modify the entire preceding clause. we know that the three verb-ing modifiers are presenting additional information about the preceding clause. and releasing them back in the river.000 of them a year. In this sentence. It further explains that this action resulted in Mary winning a lot of accolades from every one. In this sentence "winning accolades from every one" is presenting the result of the preceding clause. and releasing some 150. catching. GMAT like SENTENCE: Presenting Additional Information • For decades now. recording. They monitored local fish by catching them. SIMPLE EXAMPLES: Presenting result • Mary made a beautiful bouquet. Hence.e. GMAT like SENTENCE: Presenting Result Let us bring our “warm-up exercise” question #1 here. all the three verb-ing modifiers (parallel entities) appear in the sentence after the clause preceded by comma. putting them in records. recording. the INHS biologists have gone to the banks of the Illinois river in aluminum skiffs and have monitored local fish. Let us solve that GMAT like question to see why the correct answer is correct and how this rule set is applicable in that question. This sentence means that for a very long time now. . i. The three modifiers explain how the biologist did the job of monitoring local fish.000 fish a year. arranging rare exotic flowers in certain symmetry. verb-ing modifier is preceded by a comma. Per the context of this sentence. And how they have monitored local fish? They have done so by catching. Mary made a beautiful bouquet BY ARRANGING rare exotic flowers in certain symmetry. the verb-ing modifier appears after the clause preceded by a comma. and releasing approximately 150. Q#1 . Illinois Natural History Survey biologists in aluminum skiffs have scooted up and down the thinly wooded banks of the Illinois river and monitored local fish. In this sentence. This sentence tells us that Mary made a beautiful bouquet. the verb-ing modifier is presenting additional information about the preceding clause. In this sentence.

This usage is not correct because “these” is a pronoun. It can only refer to a noun or another pronoun. Applying RULE SET #1 on OG 12 #47 Five fledgling sea eagles left their nests in western Scotland this summer. In this choice. which forced: Incorrect. It cannot be used to refer to an action or a clause. . As a result of these actions. “which” is referring to “schools”. STEP 1: MEANING ANALYSIS This sentence says that Los Angeles Unified School District added healthy meals to the school cafeteria. school and these forced: Incorrect for the reason discussed during error analysis. C. This action brought to 34 the total number of wild birds that have been successfully raised since transplants from Norway started in 1975. STEP 1: MEANING ANALYSIS The sentence says that this summer. pronoun “these” have been used to refer the actions of “throwing healthy meals” and “bringing junk food”.We will apply the e-gmat three-step process to solve this problem. Also notice that “which” is a relative pronoun that abides by the same rules for pronoun. “which” cannot be used to present the result of the preceding clause. using e-gmat three-step process. The verb-ing modifier “forcing” appears in this sentence preceded by a comma. in this choice. five fledgling sea eagles left their nests in western Scotland. Hence. But students have been throwing away these healthy meals and have been bringing their own junk food. This means that “forcing” is modifying the preceding clause. Per the context of the sentence. In the second clause. (A) bringing (B) and brings (C) and it brings (D) and it brought (E) and brought We will solve this question. schools. forcing: Correct. STEP 2: ERROR ANALYSIS Let’s now split the sentence into clauses to spot the errors: • Students have been throwing away healthy meals made available in school cafeteria by The Los Angeles Unified School District and bringing their own junk food to school • and these forced the district to bring back some of the foods o it worked so hard to replace. comma + forcing. Schools. the district was forced to bring back some of the foods it worked so hard to replace. is correctly presenting the result of the preceding clause. bringing to 34 the number of wild birds successfully raised since transplants from Norway began in 1975. B. Notice that “which” is a noun modifier that refers to the preceding noun or noun phrase. This is illogical. STEP 3: POE A.

The use of verb-ing is correct only if it makes sense with the subject of the clause it is modifying. (D) and it brought: Incorrect. the verb-ing modifiers also associate with the subjects of the preceding clause. What we must keep in mind is that the action denoted by verb-ing must make sense with the subject of the clause. it will associate with the subject of the preceding clause. So. A pronoun can only refer to a noun or another pronoun. This association perfectly makes sense. any action needs a doer. Hence. Hence. Now. In the same way. The use of this modifier is correct here because per the context. The sentence means that Sachin played a superbly good innings. (C) and it brings: Incorrect. This sentence is correct as is. the usage of the verb-ing modifier is absolutely correct here. “making” will associate with the same subject and will suggest that that Sachin “made” the team win. i. So the subject is the doer. making the team win gloriously. Furthermore.one of the functions of the verb-ing when preceded by a comma. Repeats the same verb tense error as in Choice B. Now. Now. Because Sachin did make the team win by playing a superb innings. “brings” is not the correct verb tense to refer to an action that took place in the past.is not correct. . Singular pronoun “it” neither can refer to plural “eagles” nor can refer to the preceding clause.is not correct. STEP 3: POE Through this step we will find out why the other answer choices are incorrect. there is no error in this sentence. the subject of the preceding clause “Sachin” did the action of playing a superb innings. “making” is an action that needs a subject. verb-ing modifiers are made from “verbs” and they denote action. And the result of this action led to the victory of the team in a glorious manner.STEP 2: ERROR ANALYSIS Let us split the sentence into clauses to spot the errors. it presents the result of the preceding clause . Repeats the same pronoun error as in Choice D. (A) bringing: Correct as explained during error analysis. For example: • Sachin Tendulkar played an exceptionally outstanding innings. (B) and brings: Incorrect. use of ‘comma + and’ to connect two entities in a list – here two verbs of the same subject . This modifier appears after the main clause preceded by a comma. • Five fledgling sea eagles left their nests in western Scotland this summer. The only word underlined in this sentence is the verb-ing modifier “bringing”. A POINT TO REMEMBER As mentioned earlier. Use of ‘comma + and’ to connect two entities in a list – here two verbs of the same subject . (E) and brought: Incorrect. ii. the verb-ing modifier “making” preceded by a comma is presenting the result of the preceding clause. bringing to 34 the number of wild birds successfully raised o since transplants from Norway began in 1975. Per the rule. This means it modifies the preceding clause. Hence.

These places are: . Now. The sentence thus means that Joe became the CFO of the company and as a result he increased his salary. he is not the doer of the verb “became”. Hence.Now let’s take this example: • Joe became the CFO of the company. in a sentence there are three general places where this modifier appears. increasing his pay significantly. “increasing” associates with “Joe”. even if this sentence appears to be written in appropriate construction. What resulted in Joe’s increased salary is the event of his becoming the CFO. Here the verb-ing modifier “increasing” appears after the clause and is preceded by a comma. He did not make himself the CFO of the company. we discussed function of this modifier when used with a comma. VERB-ING MODIFIERS PART 2 In our first article on verb-ing modifiers. This sentence can be written correctly as follows: • Joe became the CFO of the company. We know that this is not even a possibility. per the intended meaning of the sentence. Since verb-ing modifier denotes an action and hence associates with a verb. In each placement. it is incorrect since here the verb-ing modifier does not make sense with the subject of the preceding clause. However. the subject of the sentence is “Joe”. To refresh your memory. In this article we will explain the function of the verb-ing modifier when the modifier is placed after the clause and is NOT preceded by a comma. a move that increased his pay significantly. Now look at the verb-ing modifier “increasing”. Joe became the CFO of the company. This event led to increase in his salary. Now. This means that this modifier will modify the preceding clause either by presenting additional information about the preceding clause or by presenting the result of the preceding clause. the modifier plays a specific role.

the key to deciding whether to use a verb-ing modifier. If the logical intended meaning is such that the verb-ing modifier should modify . The sentence means that Mary made a beautiful bouquet and that bouquet releases a divine aroma. “releasing…” modifies the preceding noun “bouquet”.1. So the modifier describes the noun "bouquet". In this sentence “releasing…” is a verb-ing modifier that is not preceded by a comma. Let’s understand the application of this rule set through simple examples first. and if to use one. In this construction. Understanding Intended meaning is the key: As you would have noticed. SIMPLE EXAMPLE • Mary made a beautiful bouquet releasing divine aroma. In the beginning of a clause followed by a comma (Please view the Verb-ing concept in the e-GMAT free trial) RULE SET #2 The placement of the verb-ing modifier after a clause without a comma brings us to the second rule set for this modifier. whether to use one with a comma depends on the intended meaning of the sentence. Placed after a clause PRECEDED by a comma (explained in the first article) 2. Placed after a clause NOT PRECEDED by a comma (explained in this article) 3.

arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish B. to make this distinction it’s important to understand the logical intended meaning. OG 12#133 – Choice B Last week local shrimpers held a news conference to take some credit for the resurgence of the rare Kemp's ridley turtle. Note that in this example we will only analyze the sentence with regards to the verb-ing modifier. persuading an ant specialist at the university to advise him and publishing C. arachnids. saying that their compliance with laws requiring turtle-excluder devices on shrimp nets is protecting adult sea turtles. biologist Glauco Machado gathered enough information about large numbers of a relatively unstudied order of arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish his first scientific paper. This example is from the exercise of the previous article. Take the Sentence Structure concepts in the free trial if you have trouble in splitting the sentence into clauses and phrases. A. OFFICIAL EXAMPLE Let’s now take an official example and apply the tools that we have learned so far. The meaning is clear . we will split the sentence into clauses to understand its structure.the preceding noun or noun phrase. On the other hand. Either way. arachnids persuading an ant specialist at the university to advise him and publishing Let’s use the tools to determine whether verb-ing modifier makes sense.these laws require the shrimpers to use turtle-excluder devices on shrimp nets. They informed in the conference that they comply with laws that require turtle-excluder devices on shrimp nets. To decide whether the usage of verb-ing modifier make sense. let’s understand the author’s Intended Meaning. saying • that their compliance with laws requiring turtle-excluder devices on shrimp nets is protecting adult sea turtles. Let’s continue. View the free concept on e-GMAT if you need further clarification (and audio visual representation). The verb-ing modifier “requiring” is not preceded by a comma and hence correctly modifies the preceding noun “laws”. This sentence says that last week local shrimpers called for a news conference. then we should use the verb-ing modifier without a comma. This action is protecting adult sea turtles. . use the verb-ing modifier with the comma if the author’s intention is to express additional information about the preceding clause or the result of the preceding clause. Intended meaning: To understand the intended meaning. The sentence construction for choices A and B is same as it pertains to the usage of verb-ing modifier. AN INSTANCE IN WHICH VERB-ING IS NOT CORRECT We will now take an example in which Verb-ing is not correct. the sentence is correct as it is. Therefore. In three months. They did so to take come credit for the resurgence of the rare Kemp’s ridley turtle. • Last week local shrimpers held a news conference to take some credit for the resurgence of the rare Kemp's ridley turtle.

Machado’s gathering information actually led to the persuasion of the ant specialist and the publication of the first scientific paper. which circle other stars. C. per this choice. . GMAT Prep Question: In the past several years. A. the sentence means that Machado collected information on certain arachnids and these arachnids did the jobs of persuading the ant specialist and publishing first scientific paper. he wanted to publish his first scientific paper STEP 2: ERROR ANALYSIS • In three months. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter. arachnids. meaning it has only one clause. this choice is grammatically correct but certainly alters the intended meaning and is thus incorrect. The purposes of gathering all the information have been correctly written in “to verb” form. This sentence has just one subject-verb pair. astronomers have detected more than 80 massive planets. and b. he wanted to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him b. Per this choice. The original sentence talks about purpose. Here. Here both the verb-ing modifiers are preceded by comma. so now that we understand how to use the new tools that we have learnt. Hence. arachnids persuading an ant specialist at the university to advise him and publishing: Incorrect. he persuaded the ant specialist. the verb-ing modifiers appear without comma. B. APPLYING THE RULE SET TO GMATPREP QUESTION Ok. Hence. Now. there is no error in this sentence. STEP 3: POE Let us now do the POE to see what makes the other two choices incorrect. This is absolutely illogical. implying that they modify the entire preceding clause. These two purposes are also correctly joined with “and”. arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish: Correct as we discussed during error analysis. now the sentence means that Machado gathered all the information and this action resulted into two things: a. biologist Glauco Machado gathered enough information about large numbers of a relatively unstudied order of arachnids to persuade an ant specialist at the university to advise him and to publish his first scientific paper. persuading an ant specialist at the university to advise him and publishing: Incorrect. Hence. The sentence is correct as is. This is certainly not the intended meaning of the original sentence. lets add them to our arsenal and use the e-GMAT 3 step process to solve a GMAT PREP question. he published his first scientific papers. This is a case where verb-ing modifier without a comma does not make sense.STEP 1: (Intended) MEANING ANALYSIS The sentence says that in three months Machado gathered enough information about a huge number of comparatively unstudied order of arachnids. both “persuading” and “publishing” modify the preceding noun “arachnids”. In this choice. The SV pair is accounted for. He gathered all information with two purposes in mind: a.

This is a verb-ing modifier that is not separated from the preceding clause by a comma and hence modifies the preceding noun entity. So for the sake of our discussion. circling Let us now apply the e-gmat three-step process to solve this one. B. Notice that “most of them as large or larger than Jupiter” is a modifier that provides additional information about the 80 massive planets. These massive planets are either as large as Jupiter or larger than Jupiter. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter. POE: A. i. This is not correct. most of them at least as large as Jupiter. C. From logical standpoint also. this modifier does not modify the immediately preceding noun "Jupiter". Furthermore. We have determined already that “circling…” modifies “80 massive planets” from grammatical standpoint. We must use the idiom correctly in its entirety to present the correct comparison. This relative pronoun modifier modifies the noun “80 massive planets”. Now this modifier is not written in correct construction since which is typically preceded by a comma. notice the use of modifier . most of them at least as large as Jupiter.“circling…” . These massive planets also circle other stars. mostly at least as large as Jupiter. This choice repeats the idiom and parallelism errors of choice A. circling D. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter and circling C. This sentence uses a mix of two idioms – “as X as” and “X larger than” – in the form of “as large or larger than”. which circle: Incorrect for reasons discussed above. astronomers have detected more than 80 massive planets. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter and circling: Incorrect. mostly as large or larger than Jupiter. We will now find the correct choice from the remaining 4 choices. • which circle other stars. ERROR ANALYSIS: • In the past several years. We will begin with the first step that is: MEANING ANALYSIS: The sentence says that in the past few years. This choice corrects the error of choice A by using the correct idiom “at least as large as Jupiter” to convey the intended meaning. which circle B. “circling” must modify “80 massive planets” because it is a universal fact that Jupiter . Notice the modifier – “which circle…”. which circle E. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter. Now as you can see. Remember that the comma that precedes “which” does not separate “which” but is part of the comma pair that separates the modifier "most of them…" from the rest of the sentence. And this is where logical meaning and understanding the sentence structure comes to our aid. ii.A. most of them as large or larger than Jupiter. So even if we remove this modifier from the sentence. Some of you may wonder that “which circle…” modifies the closest noun “Jupiter”. At this time we should also pay attention to the logical meaning of the sentence. A modifier is not separated from the entity it modifies by using “and”. This modifier modifies the noun entity that precedes it – “more than 80 massive planets”. As we discussed in the sentence structure discussion for choice A. let’s remove this modifier: • In the past several years. This is incorrect. the meaning will not be altered. “which circle…” modifies the noun phrase “80 massive planets”. circling: Correct. astronomers have detected more than 80 massive planetswhich circle other stars. This modifier is encapsulated in a comma pair. astronomers have detected more than 80 massive planets.

Repeats the same “mostly” error of choice D. Use of “mostly” is incorrect here. mostly as large or larger than Jupiter. This is non-sensical. ii. i. circling: Incorrect. there is no logical way that “circling” can modify “Jupiter”. D. . Repeats the idiom error of choice A. which circle: Incorrect. E. Now it is an adverb that refers to the adjective following it “at least as large as”. Hence. mostly at least as large as Jupiter.revolves around the Sun and no other star. It should modify “80 massive planets”.