Verbal Ability

Topics related to the Verbal section on the GMAT.

Idioms

Posted on May 23, 2011

Idiomatic expressions are phrases that are common in standard written English. There is no logic behind their usage. You either know them or not. You will have to use your ear most of the time. But its highly advised that you learn the list of common idioms on GMAT. The parrot way I am sorry to tell you this, but memorizing them is the only way you can do this. Start doing this early in your preparation. Initially it’s okay to look up the idiom list while answering the questions. Watch out for the changing prepositions while doing a vertical scan of the answer choices, this would give you a hint that may be this is an Idiom error. a consequence of A debate...

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Style

Posted on May 4, 2011

Remember that GMAT asks you to choose the best answer. So many times you will have two options which are grammatically correct. In such cases GMAT prefers the sentence that is CORRECT, CONCISE & CLEAR. This gives us the golden rule of 3 C’s. Here it goes… Keep it short Longer sentences introduce unnecessary complexity, awkwardness and redundancy. Everything else being equal, choose the shorter, simpler version over the longer, more complex one. One of the problems with wordy answer choices is that they contain redundancies; that is, they essentially say the same thing twice. Be careful to preserve the meaning of the original sentence. This is another...

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Tenses

Posted on Apr 29, 2011

Most of the time, you know which tense to use for a verb. But you may not know just how to describe an action that doesn’t fall neatly into one time slot. And that’s where GMAT is going to test you. You must know where to use perfect tenses; where to avoid them. They will also confuse you with series of actions where it becomes even more difficult to determine the tense sequence. I have prepared a solid article which will cover everything you needed to know about tenses on the GMAT. What Time is it? PRESENT TENSE Habitual actions (regular activities): Mukul exercises every day. Leaves fall in winter. Universal truth, well known fact: Sun rises in the...

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Subject-Verb Agreement

Posted on Apr 28, 2011

To do well in SC on GMAT, you need to know which verb-form goes with each type of subject, where to find the subject in a clause, and whether the subject is singular or plural. The Traps Don’t expect simple subject-verb agreement on the GMAT. There are 3 ways to confuse you: Make it difficult for you to locate the subject Make it difficult to identfy whether the subject is singular or plural. Insert intervening phrases and clauses to make it difficult to spot the subject and connect it to its proper verb. Where is the Subject? You can find the subject easily when it comes right before the verb: Alan Paton has written movingly about life in South Africa. Many readers...

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Quick Reference

Posted on Apr 9, 2011

This section is not intended for first timers. If you haven’t done enough, you must go back to the individual topic discussion. This section provides a quick reference guide to the most common errors in SC. This has mostly come from my notes, which I made during my preparation. Enjoy! GRAMMAR NOTES SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT Error of Proximity Two subjects joined by ‘and’ – plural If both point to the same thing (one thing) – singular Parenthetical words joined to a singular subject – singular (e.g. ‘with’, ‘as well as’) Two or more singular subjects connected by ‘or’, ‘nor’ – singular When one of them is plural – plural (and nearer to...

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Sentence Correction

Posted on Apr 9, 2011

“Sentence Correction constitutes to roughly one-third (expect 14-15 questions) of the Verbal section on the GMAT. This section tests you on your knowledge of English grammar. The grammar in this section is very precise and require excellent clarity of concepts and idiomatic usage. You will be given ONE sentence – a part of or the entire sentence underlined. The underlined part of the sentence is the part that you evaluate. Only ONE answer choice can be correct. The first option A is a repetition of the underlined part, which is the answer in the event of no error in the underlined part. One thing common to all high scorers is that they all do the SC’s...

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