GMAT Verbal | Sentence Correction Practice

GMAT Sample Questions | Modifier error | Logical Predication

This GMAT sample practice question is a verbal sentence correction question testing your understanding of Modifier error and Logical Predication.

Question 5: Fought on 22 August 1485, the Lancastrians won The Battle of Bosworth Field, the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century.

  1. Fought on 22 August 1485, the Lancastrians won The Battle of Bosworth Field, the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century
  2. Fought on 22 August 1485, The Battle of Bosworth Field - the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century - was won by the Lancastrians
  3. Fought on 22 August 1485, the Lancastrians won The Battle of Bosworth Field- the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses- the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century
  4. The Lancastrians won The Battle of Bosworth Field, fought on 22 August 1485, the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century
  5. The Lancastrians won The Battle of Bosworth Field, which was fought on 22 August 1485; it was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses - the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century

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Explanatory Answer

Step 1 of solving this GMAT Sentence Correction Question: Identifying What Is Tested
  • Comparing answer options, we can notice that there are a number of modifiers that refer to “The Battle of Bosworth Field”. The difference in the options seems to be in the ordering of these modifiers. Also, one of the options is in passive voice and another of the options splits the sentence into two run-on sentences.

Step 2 of solving this GMAT Sentence Correction Question: Understanding the Sentence
  • The first modifier “Fought on 22 August 1845” should refer to “The Battle of Bosworth Field”. However, in some options, the modifier has been placed next to “the Lancastrians”.

  • In some options, when the modifiers are all listed together, it is not clear whether the various phrases are descriptions of one battle or whether each is describing a different battle. There should be no ambiguity in the meaning of the sentence.

Step 3 of solving this GMAT Sentence Correction Question: Eliminating Options
  • Choices (A) and (C) can be eliminated because the modifier “Fought on 22 August 1845” has been placed next to “the Lancastrians”.

  • Choice (D) lists the various descriptions of the battle one after another. Starting with “the last significant…”. One possible interpretation of the sentence is that the Lancastrians fought and won THREE battles – The one at Bosworth Field, the one that was the last of the War of roses, and the civil war. This ambiguity in meaning is the reason to eliminate the option.

  • While both options (B) and (E) correct the modifier errors, option (B) is convoluted because it is in passive voice, making (E) the better construction. Splitting up the sentence into two enhances the ability to understand the information.

Choice E is the correct answer.

 

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