Thursday, 15 September 2016

SSC/BANKING: Sentence Correction-Tricks and Practice Questions

Hello, Greetings!! 
As you all know, SSC Mains/IBPS/RRBs exams are Coming up and English Section plays a very important role in your overall selection. So, we've decided to help you with all the tricky and advance scenarios in English Grammar. We'll keep you informed about such Complex Sentence Structures.
There are six basic kinds of errors in the grammar of a sentence. 
Error type-1  Subject -verb agreement 
Error type -2. Errors of modifiers 

Modifiers are words / group of words / phrases in one part of sentence , which modify another part of the sentence. 
In correct written English ,the modifier has to be kept as close as possible to the word or clause it modifies. 

Ex- bruised and battered, Ravi gave his Car to the mechanic. 
Bruised and battered , the car was given to the mechanic by Ravi. 
Errors type -3 errors in the usage of Pronouns . 

The pronouns used in a sentence should agree with their antecedents. 
Error type - 4 error in the tense of the verbs. 
Error type - 5 errors of parallelism 
Error type -6 error in the use of singular words/ idioms and phrases. 
Proper use of adverbs , prepositions. Conjunctions. Adjectives.

Q.1 With the advent of YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr, many savvy political consultants undertook revolutionary micro-targeting and get-out-the-vote techniques that enabled political candidates with cash-strapped budgets to be able to reach numerous likely voters and succeed in raising large numbers of money from enthusiastic and committed supporters in a short period of time.

A.cash-strapped budgets to be able to reach numerous likely voters and succeed in raising large numbers of money

B.cash-strapped budgets to reach numerous likely voters and be successful in raising large amounts of money

C.cash-strapped budgets to reach numerous likely voters, succeeding in raising large amounts of money

D.cash-strapped budgets to reach numerous likely voters and succeed in raising large amounts of money

E.cash-strapped budgets to be able to reach numerous likely voters and succeed in raising large amounts of money

Explanation: Option(D) is correct
The sentence must be constructed such that corresponding consequences of an action are parallel. Specifically, the sentence should read enabled political candidates with cash-strapped budgets to x and y where x and y are parallel.
The phrase to be able to z is redundant and should be replaced by to z
 The phrase numbers of money should be amounts of money since number is only used when the object in question can be counted and money cannot be counted (i.e., you do not say 1 money, 2 money, 3 money). Note: By comparison, dollars can be counted (i.e., you would say 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 3 dollars) and as a result, we would say: the number of dollars.

a.the phrase to be able to reach is redundant and can be shortened as follows: to reach; large numbers of money is not grammatically correct since money itself cannot be counted and, as a result, amount should be used instead

b.the phrase to reach...and be successful is not parallel

c.this sentence is set up such that succeeding modifies reaching voters instead of being a separate action on its own

d.the phrase is parallel (i.e., to reach...[to] succeed); to be able to reach is replaced by the shorter to reach

e.the phrase to be able to reach is redundant and should be replaced by to reach


Q.2 With his sub-four minute mile Bannister broke a psychological barrier, inspiring thousands of others to attempt overcoming seemingly insurmountable hurdles.

A.inspiring thousands of others to attempt overcoming 

B.inspiring thousands of others to attempt to overcome

C.inspiring thousands of others to overcome 

D.and inspired thousands of others to attempt to overcome

E.and inspired thousands of others to attempt overcoming

Explanation: Option(D) is correct

In (A) the word ‘inspiring’ seems incorrectly to refer to the word ‘barrier’; also the expression ‘attempt overcoming’ is unidiomatic.

In D, the correct answer, ‘inspired’ is correctly parallel to ‘broke’, and ‘attempt to overcome’ is idiomatic.

Q.3  An analysis of sixteenth century probate inventories in the major English towns show that even some artisans and yeomen owned silver spoons, cups or salt cellars.

A.show that even some artisans and yeomen owned silver spoons, cups or 

B.show that some artisans and yeomen even owned silver spoons, cups or

C.show that even some artisans and yeomen owned silver spoons, cups and

D.shows that some artisans and yeomen owned even silver spoons, cups and 

E.shows that even some artisans and yeomen owned silver spoons, cups or

Explanation - Option(E) is correct

The subject of the sentence is ‘analysis’ and therefore the verb should be the singular ‘shows’. Hence either D or E must be correct.

The word ‘even’ should be in front of the word which it qualifies. The intention is to express surprise that some artisans owned silver, as indicated in E by putting ‘even’ in front of ‘artisans’, and not surprise at the spoons as implied in D.

In E, the correct answer, the word ‘or’ seems preferable because the artisan or yeoman might own any of the items and not necessarily all the items as would be implied by the use of ‘and’.

Q.4 In archaeological terms the university was a latecomer to the town, which was already centuries old by the time we first hear of the establishment of a community of scholars and teachers in the late 12th Century.

A.which was already centuries old by the time we first hear of the establishment of

B.already centuries old by the time we first hear of its establishment of 

C.which was centuries old already when we first hear of the establishment of 

D.that was already centuries old by the time we first are hearing of the establishing of 

E.that was already centuries old by the time we first hear that they had established

Explanation -Option(A) is correct
There is nothing wrong with the use of ‘which’ in choice A, since the description correctly refers to the work in front of the comma. It is better not t spend time worrying over the choice between ‘that’ and ‘which’ – look for other clear-cut problems.

We can eliminate E because the pronoun ‘they’ does not have an antecedent. We can eliminate D because it is too wordy and uses ‘establishing’ when ‘establishment’ would have been better.

We can eliminate C because ‘already’ is in the wrong place. And finally we can eliminate B because the use of ‘its’ makes the sentence less clear than what we have in A

Q5.The United Nations’ Human Development Index takes into account life expectancy, education, as well as income per person

A.into account life expectancy, education, as well as income per person 

B.life expectancy, education, as well as income per person into account 

C.into account life expectancy and education, as well as income per person

D.into account life expectancy, and education, and income per person

E.life expectancy, education, and income per person in its account

Explanation : Option(C) is correct

The problem with the original sentence is the list: we need to have an ‘and’ at the right point. We can have a list such as ‘a, b, and c’ when we intend the items to have equal weight.

Or we can have a list such as ‘a and b, as well as c’ if the first two items are to be taken together.

But we cannot have a list like this: a, b, as well as c. Nor can we have ‘a and b and c’. Using this information we can eliminate A, B and D.

Of the remaining choices, C is best as E is awkward and brings in an unnecessary ‘its’.


Q.6 Ricks has written extensively on not only major figures in English poetry like Milton and Housman, but also on the lyrics of Bob Dylan.

A.on not only major figures in English poetry like Milton, but also on

B.not only on the poetry of such major figures as Milton and Housman, but also on

C.not only on major figures in English poetry like Milton and Housman, but also on

D.on major figures in English poetry like Milton and Housman, as well as 

E.on major figures in English poetry such as Milton and Housman, but also on

Explanation: Option(B) is correct

In A the paired conjunctions ‘not only... but also’ are not used with correct parallel phrases: if ‘not only’ is followed by a prepositional phrase, ‘but also’ should also be followed by a preposition. The parallelism is not correct in D either.

The expression ‘such as’ is better than ‘like’ when we are giving examples, and so we can focus on B and E. B is better as the poetry of major figures (not the figures themselves) is contrasted to the lyrics of Dylan. In answer E the ‘but also’ is not correct without a ‘not’ earlier in the sentence.

Q.7 Because chickens lack teeth, they need another way to break apart the food they eat before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.

A.before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.

B.before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.

C.before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they swallow are used to grind their food.

D.before reaching the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed is used to grind their food.

E.before it reaches the stomach, and for this reason, chickens have a gizzard in which stones they have swallowed are used to grind their food.

Explanation : Option(E) is correct

This question focuses on verb tense and agreement, as well as general rhetorical construction. In this sentence all of the verbs agree with their subjects. However, the phrase before reaching the stomach does not have a clear subject. It appears to modify they, the chickens, instead of food. The present tense verb swallow should be replaced with the present perfect verb have swallowed in order to indicate that the swallowing occurred before the use of the stones.

Q.8 The publishers, unwilling to shoulder the entire risk, insisted that the author should pay half the cost of the initial print run of his controversial new book.

A.The publishers, unwilling to shoulder the entire risk, insisted that the author should pay half the cost of the initial print run of his controversial new book.

B.The publishers, unwilling to shoulder the entire risk, insisted that the author should be paying half the cost of the initial print run of the author’s controversial new book.

C.The publishers, unwilling to shoulder the entire risk, insisted that the author pay half the cost of the initial print run of his controversial new book.

D.Unwilling to shoulder the entire risk, the publishers insisted the author should pay half the cost of the initial print run of his controversial new book.

E.Unwilling to shoulder the entire risk, the author was required by the publisher to pay half the cost of the initial print run of his controversial new book.

Explanation : Option(C) is correct

The subjunctive expression ‘insisted that the author pay’ is correct in C. A, B and D are wrong because they incorrectly insert ‘should’.

E is incorrect because the ‘unwilling to shoulder the entire risk’ is incorrectly attributed to the author (dangling modifier problem).

Q.9 A course of cognitive behavior therapy can be as effective, if not more so, than drug therapy and without the side effects, in helping the elderly to overcome insomnia.

A.as effective, if not more so, than drug therapy and without the side effects, in helping the elderly to overcome insomnia

B.more effective than drug therapy and without the side effects, in helping the elderly to overcome insomnia

C.at least as effective in helping the elderly overcome insomnia as drug therapy, and is without the side effects of drug treatment 

D.at least as effective as drug therapy in helping the elderly to overcome insomnia without side effects 

E.equally effective as drug therapy in helping the elderly to overcome insomnia without side effects

Explanation : Option(C) is correct

The original version is incorrect because ‘as... as’, is correct, not ‘as... than’. Options B and E change the meaning – we need to convey that CBT is ‘at least as effective’, and so we should consider only C and D.

Although D is shorter, it is not correct because it seems to suggest that insomnia is without side effects. And so the answer is C.

Q.10 Studies show that teachers unconsciously assume that students who regularly perform poorly on assessments have below-average abilities, and in neglecting to provide the academic challenges that would catalyze their intellectual potential, the students often accept this damaging diagnosis and the life limits it implies.

(A) in neglecting to provide the academic challenges that would catalyze their intellectual potential

(B) when they neglect providing the academic challenges that would be catalyzing their intellectual potential

(C) when teachers neglect to provide the academic challenges that would catalyze their students’ intellectual potential

(D) in neglecting in providing the academic challenges that would catalyze their students’ intellectual potential

(E) in being neglectful with respect to providing the academic challenges that would be catalyzing their intellectual potential

Explanation: 3) Split #1: modifier problem.  The sentence begins with an independent clause, then a comma and the word “and”, introducing a second independent clause, the main clause of which follows the underlined part.  If the underlined part begins with participial phrase, this must modify “the students”, the subject of the second independent clause.  This is problematic, because the students don’t “neglect to provide the academic challenges” — that’s a teacher’s job, not a student’s job!  Choices (A) & (D) & (E) all have a participial phrase that illogically modifies “the students”, so these are incorrect.

Split #2: choice (B) makes the classic repeated pronouns mistake.  “… when they[the teachers] neglect providing the academic challenges that would be catalyzing their [the students’] intellectual potential …”  The pronoun “they”/”their” refers to two different antecedents in the same sentence!  That’s 100% illegal on the GMAT.  (B) is incorrect.

This leaves (C) as the only possible answer.

Q11. Simon Bolivar (1783 – 1830) is remembered in that he led the independence revolutions in several South American counties, like Venezuela and Bolivia, and for instilling the ideals of democracy across the continent.

(A) in that he led the independence revolutions in several South American counties, like Venezuela and Bolivia, and for instilling

(B) to have led the independence revolutions in several South American counties, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, and that he instilled

(C) to have led the independence revolutions in several South American counties, including Venezuela and Bolivia, and having instilled

(D) for leading the independence revolutions in several South American counties, like Venezuela and Bolivia, and to have instilled

(E) for leading the independence revolutions in several South American counties, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, and for instilling

Explanation :
#1: the idiom “P is remembered for doing X” is elegant way to refer to someone’s famous achievement.  The constructions “P is remembered in that he did X” and “P is remembered to have done X” are far more awkward and less smooth.  This is a problem with (A) & (B) & (C) & (D) all have problems with these.

Split #2: parallelism. The overall structure is “Bolivar is remembered ___ and ___” — those two blanks must have matching grammatical forms.  Let’s look at what’s in those slots:

(A) “in that he led … and for instilling” = NOT parallel

(B) “to have led … and that he instilled” = NOT parallel

(C) “to have led … and having instilled” = NOT parallel

(D) “for leading … and to have instilled” = NOT parallel

(E) “for leading … and for instilling” = CORRECT!

From either of these splits, we see that (E) is the only possible answer.




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