GMAT Sentence Correction Practice Question

GMAT Sample Questions | Pronoun Ambiguity | Comparison Error

This GMAT sample question is a verbal sentence correction question testing your understanding of Pronoun Ambiguity - Reference; Comparison Error.

Question 3: Thieves steal Hondas and Toyotas from the 1990s more than other models because they can chop them up and sell them for parts that are worth more than the car.

  1. more than other models because they can chop them up and sell them for parts that are worth more than the car
  2. more than they steal other models because they can chop them up and sell them for parts that are worth more than the car
  3. more than they do other models because they can dismantle the cars and sell the parts that are worth more than the car
  4. more than other models because they can chop the cars up and sell them for parts that are worth more than the car
  5. more than other models because they can dismantle them up and sell the parts that are worth more than the car

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Explanatory Answer

Step 1 of solving this GMAT Sentence Correction Question: Identifying What Is Tested
  • Looking for differences in the options, we can see that some of the options use the verb “dismantle” while others use the verb “chop”.

  • Also, the initial part of the answer options following the construction “more than ... varies across the options. Finally, some options use the construction “sell the parts” and some use “sell them for parts”.

Step 2 of solving this GMAT Sentence Correction Question: Understanding the Sentence
  • The sentence is comparing the propensity of the thieves to steal Hondas and Toyotas. The correct construction should therefore compare the action of stealing Hondas and Toyotas with the action of stealing other models. The sentence should compare verbs (and use the verbs on both sides of the comparison). The correct construction would be “more than they steal other models” or “more than they do other models”.

  • In the construction “sell them for parts”, the pronoun “them” is ambiguous. It is not clear whether the pronoun refers to the “Hondas and Toyotas” or to “other models”.

  • The verb “chop” would mean to “cut something into pieces using a blunt instrument”. Therefore, the verb “dismantle”, which simply means to “take something apart” would be more appropriate in this context.

Step 3 of solving this GMAT Sentence Correction Question: Eliminating Options
  • Choices (A) and (D) can be eliminated for any and all of the reasons discussed. The comparison is incomplete, the pronoun is ambiguous, and the verb “chop” is inappropriate.

  • Choice (B) corrects the comparison error. However, the pronoun usage is still ambiguous.

  • Similarly, choice (E) corrects only the pronoun error. The comparison construction is incorrect as it compares a verb to a noun.

Choice C is the correct answer.

 

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