GMAT Sentence Correction Handbook (3/5)


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This is part 3 of a 5-Day Handbook on the Basics of Sentence Correction that will help you brush-up your basic grammar, especially that required to ace the SC section on the GMAT.

This is a required pre-read for our Sentence Correction course at CrackVerbal.

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GMAT Sentence Correction Handbook (3/5)

  1. 1. Sentence Correction Basics For The GMAT: A 5-Day Handbook Day 3(Please read this Prep Material before attending your Sentence Correction Classes)
  2. 2. Contents of SC Pre-ReadDay 3: Parts of Sentences  Subjects, Objects --------- Slide 5 and Predicates  Phrases and Clauses ----- Slide 8  Verbals --------------------- Slide 11  Punctuations -------------- Slide 16
  3. 3. Parts Of SentencesThis is a collection of phrases and clauses that link together to form sentences..Consider the following sentences: After it stopped raining While he was sleeping Until you reach home safelyDo you find anything ambiguous about these sentences? Are they complete bythemselves? Certainly not!These are ‗sentence fragments‘ as they express unfinished ideas.
  4. 4. Parts Of Sentences (Contd.)Now, consider these sentences: Jenny drove his car. He wept. Joseph ran.These sentences are complete and make sense. Thus, these are not examples ofsentence fragments.Remember: A sentence fragment is not necessarily short – it is just incomplete. Read more about Sentence Fragments here!
  5. 5. Subject, Object & PredicateThe 3 main parts of a sentence are Subject, Object and Predicate.SubjectSubject refers to the person or a thing who or which performs the action of theverb. In simpler words, subject is the ‗noun‘ to which the sentences verb refers. In the first sentence, the verb or the actionExamples: is ‗eating‘. This action is performed by ‗Julie‘, who is the subject of the sentence. Julie is eating lobster. Annie has written this poem. In the second sentence, ‗Annie‘ is the subject who is performing the action of ‗writing‘.
  6. 6. Subject, Object & Predicate (Contd.)ObjectObject refers to the person or a thing upon whom or upon which the action of theverb is performed. It showcases the subject‘s action.In the first example, the action of ‗eating‘ is performed upon the ‗lobster‘.So, ‗lobster‘ is the object of the sentence. And in the second example, the action of‗writing‘ is performed upon the poem, so ‗poem‘ is the object in this sentence.A sentence may have indirect objects along with the direct ones.Example: Please send me that email.In this example, ‗email‘ is the direct object and ‗me‘is the indirect object.
  7. 7. Subject, Object & Predicate (Contd.)PredicatePredicate refers to what a person or a thing does or did or what happened to aperson or a thing. A predicate consists of a verb and other parts of speech.Certain rules for predicates: The predicate must agree in number with the subject It must have the correct tense It must be in the proper voice (active or passive)In the sentence ―Julie is eating breakfast‖, the phrase ‗is eating‘ is the predicate.In the sentence ―Annie has written the poem‖, ‗has written‘ is the predicate.Thus, a predicate must have a verb. Sometimes, a verb by itself can also be apredicate. However, predicate and verb are NOT synonymous.
  8. 8. Phrases & ClausesPhrasesA phrase is a collection of words that makes some sense, but not complete sense.Examples: After lunch… The book Fredrick gave me…ClausesA clause is a collection of words that consists ofboth a Subject and a Predicate. A clause may ormay not be able to stand independently andmake complete sense on its own.
  9. 9. Types of Clauses1. Independent ClauseCan stand on its own and make complete sense. It contains sufficient informationto construct a complete sentence.Examples: Betty didn’t like the main course but she enjoyed dessert.In the above sentence, we have two independent clauses — "Betty didn‘t like themain course" and "she enjoyed dessert ", joined by a coordinating conjunction"but―.Each of these makes complete sense on its own.
  10. 10. Phrases & Clauses (Contd.)2. Dependent ClauseThis cannot stand by itself and does not make sense on its own. It is dependent onsome other clauses to form a meaningful sentence.Examples: If you lend me that book, I will be grateful to you. When I was in New York, I worked for a law firm. Phrases make up a clause and clauses make up a sentence. It is important to understand the differences in these, because the use of punctuation depends on these. Test your understanding of clauses here!
  11. 11. Verbals : GerundsA verbal refers to a word formed from a verb but which works as a different part ofspeech, such as a noun or an adjective. These words signify action in a generalway, without limiting the action to any time or subject.There are 3 kinds of Verbals – Gerunds, Participles & InfinitivesGerundsA gerund refers to a verbal that ends in –ing, andwhich functions as a noun.Examples: Dancing made him famous. My favorite pastime activity is fishing.In the above examples, words like ‗dancing‘ and ‗fishing‘ are used as nouns andnot as verbs, making them gerunds. Read more about Gerunds here!
  12. 12. Verbals: ParticiplesParticiplesA participle refers to a verbal that usually ends in –ing or –ed and is used as anadjective. Since participles function as adjectives, they can modify only nouns orpronouns.Examples: The night sky was dotted with shooting stars. Her cheeks were stained with drying tears. Read more about Participles here!
  13. 13. Verbals: Types of participles1. Present participlesPresent participles express ‗what a thing does‘ and usually end in –‗ing‘. E.g.talking, loving, hurting, weeping, shouting etc.Examples: Have you heard the story of the sleeping beauty? The dancing dolphins captured the attention of the tourists.In these sentences, words such as ‗sleeping‘ and ‗dancing‘ express something moreabout beauty and dolphins respectively, thus forming present participles .
  14. 14. Verbals: Types of participles2. Past ParticiplesPast participles denote a past or completed action or time and generally express‗what was done to a thing‘. They usually end in –ed, -en, -d, -t, or –n. E.g.cracked, lost, repaired, required, arisen, beaten, anchored, and so on.Examples: Are you still looking for the lost watch? Please throw away the cracked mirror.In these sentences, words such as ‗lost‘ and ‗cracked‘ areused as adjectives to modify the nouns ‗watch‘ and‗mirror‘ respectively, thus forming past participles.
  15. 15. Verbals: InfinitivesInfinitivesAn infinitive comprises the word ‗to‘ and a verb (in its simplest form) and functionsas a noun, adjective, or adverb. Infinitive uses the base form of the verb: toeat, to be, to say, to play, to deliver, to eat and so on.Examples: Please help him to pack lunch. Do not pretend to be someone you aren‘t.Types of infinitives:The perfect infinitive (to have + past participle)The continuous infinitive (to be + present participle)The perfect continuous infinitive (to have been + present participle)The passive infinitive (to be + past participle) Read more about Infinitives here!
  16. 16. PunctuationPunctuation marks enable us to structure our sentences more accurately. Fore.g. period/full-stop(.), comma (,), question mark (?), exclamation mark (!),colon (:), semi-colon (;), apostrophe (&), brackets (()), quote (―), hyphen (-) etc.The colon (:) and semi-colon (;) are tested on the GMAT.Colon(:)The colon is used in 2 situations:While introducing a list:Beth is planning to buy a few vegetables: capsicum,ladyfinger, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower and snake gourd.While introducing an explanation or an example:There was only one possible explanation: the flight hadnever arrived.
  17. 17. Punctuation (Contd.)Semicolon(;)Semicolons are used to split sentences that are grammatically independent butstill have closely linked meaning.Example: Annie is fond of ice creams; Joseph prefers chocolates.Sometimes, conjunctions can be used in place of semicolons.Example: Annie is fond of ice creams but Joseph prefers chocolates.We cannot use a comma in place of a semicolon – this would result in what isknown as a ―run-on sentence‖.Example: Annie is fond of ice creams, Joseph prefers chocolates. 
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