Saturday, October 14, 2017

Grammar Basics

TOPIC WHAT IT MEANS IN DETAIL SUB-TOPIC BASICS GRAMMAR 1) Grammar: Does the sentence adhere to the rules of Standard Written Grammar, Meaning & Concision: In SC English? 2) Meaning: Is the meaning of the sentence obvious and this is what we need and in that order unambiguous? 3) Concision: Is the sentence written as econornically as possible? to look for right answer 1) Subject-verb Agreement PICKED UP ON THE WAY / KEY TAKE-AWAYS 1) Past particple by itself is not a working verb. For eg. : The electron named in 1894 is not a sentence. ) A sentence can be a fragment in another way: it could start with a Connecting Word and contain o Main Clause (a clause that could stand alone as a sentence as is, with its own subject and verb): Because, which Because and which are connecting words. These are also known as Subordinators, because they turn the clauses they are attached to into Subordinate Clauses, which cannot stand by themselves. To fix this sort of fragment, you either need to attach it to a main clause or,drop the connecting word 3)The GMAT hides the subject, so that you are unsure whether the subject is singular or plural!

If you do not know the number of the subject, then you will not be able to elect the verb form that agrees with it. For Eg. The discovery of new medicines (was/ were) vital to the company''s growth. the company''s growth? " you may be able to talk yourself into either choice. 4) If you can remove a phrase from the sentence, and the sentence still makes sense, the phrase is likely to be Middle-man or Warmup. 5) Middlemen & Warm-ups a)Prepositional Phrase b) Subordinate Clauses c) Other Modifiers 6) Many other words and phrases besides and can "add" to a subject. Are called Additive Phrases.

For eg. : along with Polly, in addition to surgery, accompanied by me, together with a tie, s well as the mayor, includlng salt and pepper, Unlike and , additive phrases do not form compound subjects. Rather, additive phrases function as modifiers and therefore cannot change the number of the subject. 7) However, on the GMAT, collective nouns are almost always considered singular and therefore require singular verb forms. Eg. : The CROWD in the stands IS cheering loudly as the home TEAM TAKES the field. Our ARMY of a hundred thousand soldiers IS attacking the enemy. ) There are, however, 5 indefinite pronouns that can be either singular or plural depending on he context of the sentence. THE SANAM PRONOUNS: some, Any, None, All, More,''MOSt 9) Sometimes the subject of a sentence is an -Ing phrase or even a whole clause. This sort of subject is always singular and requires a singular verb form. Having good friends IS a wonderful thing. The subject is the singular phrase having good friends, not the plural noun friends. Whatever they want to do IS fine with me. The subject is the clause whatever they want to do, which is considered singular.

Only the word and can change a singular subject into a plural one. Singular subjects ollowed by additive phrases remain singular subjects. Egs. : 1) Neither the coach nor the players ARE going to the beach. 2) Neither the players nor the coach IS going to the beach. In the first example, the plural subject players is nearest to the verb, so the verb takes the plural form are. The singular subject coach is nearest to the verb, so singular form is. {Note that when the words either or neither are in a sentence alone (without or or nor ), they are considered singular and take only singular verbs. 2) PARALLELISM parallelism, comparable sentence parts must be structurally and logically similar. How do we know that parts of a sentence need to be parallel to each other? Often, we know by spotting Parallel Markers-words that link or contrast items and that force those items to be parallel. Almost anything in a sentence can be made parallel to a similar Parallel Element. Elements Nouns Adjectives 1) The word and is the most common and important parallel marker. Whenever you see and in a GMAT sentence, look for the list and count the items. GMAT sentences have been observed to include as many as four items in a list connected by and.

Moreover, the GMAT always inserts a comma before the and in lists of 3 or 4 items. However, if you Join 2 clauses with and, you can put an optional comma before the and. Doing so is especially recommended when the clauses are long, independent, or both. Verbs s. Examples Her expression reflected BOTH anger AND relief. The park was NEITHER accessible NOR affordable. We collected BOTH second- AND third-grade books. The custodian cleaned the basement AND washed the window Infinitives We would like NOT ONLYto hear your side of the story BUT ALSO to provide a response.

Participles The actor left quickly, shunning fans AND ducking into a car. Prepositional Phrases Note: the prepositions do not always have to be the same. ) They contended that the committee was biased AND that it should be disbanded. 2) You always must fgure out which grammatical structures are logically parallel before making them structurally parallel. Be particularly careful with verbs and verbal forms. Do not assume that all verbs and verbal forms in a sentence must be 3) Linking Verbs A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun, so that we do not have to 1) Watch out for nouns used as adjectives!

They cannot be antecedents of repeat that noun elsewhere in the sentence. ronouns. Pronoun errors are so frequent on the GMAT that every time you see a 2) The antecedent to which you. want to refer must actually exist in the pronoun, such as it, its, they, them, or their, you should be sure to check sentence and be functioning as a noun. 3) The GMAT tnes to trick you into "assuming away" little wrinkles in meaning. After all, you knew whether it is being used correctly. The what the author of the first sentence meant to say, right? But make no first question you must ask yourself is this: What is the antecedent of this assumptions.

Whenever ou find an antecedent, always check that it makes pronoun? Once you have found the antecedent, you must make sure that it sense in place of the pronoun. makes sense, that it is the only possible antecedent, and that it agrees in 4) The antecedent must be unambigious. Every pronoun on the GMAT must number with the pronoun. clearly refer to only one antecedent. 5) After finding the antecedent, ask yourself if the pronoun agrees with the antecedent in number. If the antecedent is singular, the pronoun that refers to it must be singular. If the antecedent is plural, the pronoun that refers to it must be plural. If you want pronoun to refer to a particular noun, usually make sure that noun is not in the possessive case. 7) The Deadly Five: It, Its, They, Them, Their The most common pronoun mistakes involve Third Person Personal Pronouns -the singular it and its, together with the plural they, them and their . Whenever you see one of these five pronouns, you should find the antecedent and check its viability ("is the antecedent sensible, unambiguous, and in agreement with the pronoun? "). Be particularly careful with their , which is often used in everyday speech to refer to singular subjects.

Subordinate Clauses 3) PRONOUNS It was important to leave the money in the drawer RATHER THAN on the table. 4) MODIFIERS A modifier describes or "modifies" someone or something in the sentence. Although modifiers can be as simple as a single word (an adjective or an adverb), GMAT sentences often contain several complex modifiers. Tired out from playing basketball. Charles decided to take a nap . The modifier Tired out from playing basketball describes the noun Charles. Be on the lookout above, tired out from playing basketball is an opening modifier separated from the rest of the sentence by a omma.

Many modifying phrases in GMAT sentences are separated by commas from the noun being modified. 1) Adjectives and adverbs are one-word modifiers. An Adjective modifies only noun or a pronoun,whereas an Adverb modifies almost anything but a noun or a pronoun. An adverb often modifies a verb, but it can also describe an adjective, another adverb, a preposition, phrase, or even a whole clause 2) Often, the GMAT provides two grammatically correct phrasings. For instance, one phrasing might be [Adjective + Adjective *Noun], in which the two adjectives both modify the noun.

The other hrasing would be [Adverb *Adjective + Noun], in which the adverb modifies the adjective, which in turn modifies the noun. These two phrasings do not mean the same thing. Pick the phrasing that reflects the authors-intent. 3) Phrases or clauses that modify nouns or pronouns are called Noun Modifiers. Noun modifiers act like long adjectives. The first word or two of a noun modifier determines its type. A noun used to modify another noun is called an Appositive. Because your ear is not accustomed to sentences with opening modifiers, the GMAT loves to play tricks with these kinds of modifiers. A NOUN and its MODIFIER should TOUCH each other. If the modifier is next to a different noun, we have a Misplaced Modifier. 5) It is easy to miss a dangling modifier. In fact, the GMAT makers themselves Avoid dangling modifiers by making sure the noun you want to modify is in the missed one. sentence. To avoid misplaced modifiers, place them next to the nouns they are A present participle (-lngform) at the beginning of a sentence is often made to meant to modify. be dangling. Although these forms are technically Verb Modifiers (more on these shortly), they still need a noun subject that makes sense. Unlike a noun modifier, a verb modifier does not have to touch the subject. However, the subject must make sense with the verb modifier used in this way. Avoid long sequences of modifiers that modify the same noun. Putting two long modifiers in a row before or after a noun can lead to awkward or incorrect phrasings. 7) Just as possessive nouns are often dangerous with regard to pronoun reference, they are also dangerous in sentences with modifiers. Misplaced modifiers sometimes appear in complex math Bill''s score on the exam was poor. Here, the modifier unskilled in complex math should describe Bill.

However, this odifier cannot "reach inside" the possessive form Bill''s and modify Bill. As it stands, the sentence is saying that Bill''s score itself is unskilled in complex math. This meaning is not what the author intended. To solve the problem, we should replace the possessive Bill''s score with Bill. Right: Unskilled in complex math Bill did not score well on the exam. a) Modifiers cannot normally modify a noun in the possessive case. b) Noun modifiers are often introduced by Relative Ponouns such as the following: Which That Who Whose Whom Where When Such modifiers are called Relative Clauses.

Relative pronouns are subject to several estrictions. The pronouns who and whom must modify people. On the other hand, the pronoun which must modify things. Wrong: The scientists THATmade the discovery were rewarded. Right: The scientists WHO made the discovery were rewarded . According to the GMAT, clauses led by the pronoun that cannot modify people. Other grammatical authorities disagree, but what matters on test day is the GMAT''s point of view. Surprisingly, the pronoun whose can modify either people or things. 8) Noun modifiers are either essential or non-essential.

As their name suggests, Essential Modifiers provide necessary information. Use an essential modifier to identify the noun (out of many possibilities) or to "attach" the modifier to the noun from that point onward. Essential: The mansion PAINTED RED is owned by the Lees. In contrast, Non-essential Modifiers provide extra information. You do not need this information to identify the noun, since it is already identified in some other way. Moreover, you can forget about a non-essential modifier afterward, in a sense; any later reference to the noun does not include that extra information.

Non-essential: This mansion, RECENTLYPAINTED RED. is owned by the Lees. Punctuation distinguishes between essential and non-essential modifiers: Put COMMAS between NON-ESSENTIAL modifiers and their nouns. Put NO COMMAS between ESSENTIAL modifiers and their nouns. If you have a choice between which and that , then follow this general rule: Use WHICH (and commas) if the modifier is non-essential. Use THAT (and no commas) if the modifier is essential. 9) As their name indicates, Verb Modifiers modify verbs. These modifiers answer questions about the verb, such as "how," "when," "where," "why," etc.

The most basic verb modifier is an adverb. Other verb modifiers act in much the same way as dverbs. Type / First Words Present Participle with commas Preposition + Simple Gerund Infinitive of Purpose 5) VERB TENSE, MOOD & VOICE Verb Tense indicates. when the action of the verb takes place. In sentences with one action, verb tense is relatively easy. Knowing this, the GMAT tries to complicate sentences by incorporating more than one action. Verb Mood indicates what the writer believes about, or wants to do with, the action.

Two verb moods are tested on the GMAT: indicative and subjunctive. Most verbs are in the indicative mood, which we use to describe knowledge or beliefs. Occasionally, e use verbs in the subjunctive mood to express suggestions, desires, or hypothetical events. Verb Voice indicates who or what is doing the action. Two verb voices are tested on the GMAT: active voice and passive voice. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence has an action performed on it by someone or something else. ) Subordinators include words such as because, although, if, unless, while, so that, while, and so on. These words begin subordinate clauses, which cannot stand alone as sentences, but rather are attached to main clauses. Some verb modifiers may apply to both the verb and the verb''s subject. In these cases, you must make sure that the subject makes sense with the modifier. b) Verb modifiers can generally be placed further away from what they modify than noun modifiers can be placed. However, you should always place a verb modifier so that it modifies the right verb, without ambiguity.

Refer table Below. Position Example Before verb After verb 10) Which vs. the Present Participle -Ing: Be careful with Which at the end of a sentence. Make sure that it refers only to the preceding noun, not the entire receding clause. The -Ing form is very flexible. It can modify nouns directly (e. g. , the changing seasons). It can modify verbs and their subjects (e. g. , Ilifted the weight, whistling). It can even modify an entire clause as above, as long as the entire clause converted into a noun phrase could function as the subject of the verb that is now in -Ing form.

This use of the -Ing form works best when you want to express the result of the main clause. Again, in speech we often break these rules-we incorrectly use which to refer to a previous thought that is not a noun. Do not use your ear. Always test which clauses to make sure that the which refers to the noun immediately preceding the which . 1) Simple Tenses The three simple tenses express three basic times: SIMPLE PRESENT: sandy PLAYS well with her mends. SIMPLE PAST: Sandy PLAYED well with her friends yesterday. SIMPLE FUTURE: Sandy WILL PLAY well with her friends tomorrow. ) Progressive Tenses To emphasize the ongoing nature of an action, we can use the Progressive tenses, which use the verb to be and the present participle (-lngform): PRESENT PROGRESSIVE sandy IS PLAYING soccer. PAST PROGRESSIVE sandy WAS PLAYINGsoccer yesterday. FUTURE PROGRESSIVE sandy WILL BE PLAYING soccer tomorrow. 3) In GMAT sentences, do not use the Present Progressive to indicate future actions. This usage is considered too colloquial. WHISTLING"Beat It", I lifted the weight. I lifted the weight, WHISTLING "Beat It. " BY CONCENTERATING, I lifted the weight I lifted the weight BY CONCENTERATING TO FREE my leg.

I lifted the weight. I lifted the weight TO FREE my leg. .Eg: Wrong: Crime has recently decreased in our neighborhood, WHICH has led to a rise in property values. Right: The recent decrease in crime in our neighborhood has led to a rise in property values. Right: Crime has recently decreased in our neighborhood, leading to a rise in property values. a) Do not use the Present Progressive for general definitions. Instead, use the Simple Present. Wrong: Cherenkov radiation is light that particles AREEMITTING when they ARE radiation is light that particles EMIT when they TRAVEL faster than the effective speed of light in any medium. ) Verbs that express general states do not normally take progressive forms. Wrong: This Such State Verbs include know or signify. inscription IS SIGNIFYING the emperor''s birth. Right: This inscription SIGNIFIES the emperor''s birth. ) Keep Verb Tenses Consistent: Sentences with more than one action do not necessarily require more than one verb tense. ln fact, in any given sentence you should try to keep all verb tenses consistent, unless the meaning clearly dictates otherwise. However, some sentences with more than one action do require you to switch verb tenses.

Right: He IS thinner now because he SPENT the last six months on a strict diet. 4) The Perfect Tenses: Sometimes, however, actions in a sentence involve Present Perfect:. Right: This country HAS ENFORCED strict immigration laws more complex time sequences than can for thirty years. e expressed with the simple tenses or the simple progressive tenses. These Right: They HAVE KNOWN each other since 1987. actions can be expressed using the PERFECT tenses: Present Perfect & Past Perfect. And they are tested on the GMAT. a) Present Perfect: Still In Effect.... or eg. : We HAVE LIVED in a hut for three days. Present Perfect = HAVE/HAS + Past Participle b) Past Perfect: The Earlier Action. This is formed as follows: Past Perfect = HAD + Past Participle If two actions in a sentence occurred at different times in the past, we often use the Perfect tense for the earlier action and Simple Past for the later action. Tense Sequence Consider the following quotation: Scientist: The supercollider IS ready, it DID not COST too much, and it WILL PROVIDE new insights into the workings of the universe. We move the tenses back in time one step. Report: The scientist ANNOUNCED that the supercollider WAS ready, that it HAD not COST too much, and that it WOULD PROVIDE new insights into the workings of the universe. Compare the corresponding underlined clauses in the quotation and the report. (a) The supercollider IS ready becomes that the supercollider IS ready. The Simple becomes that it HAD not COST too much. The Simple Past tense (did cost) becomes Past Perfect (had cost). The action becomes one step further removed from the present. c) It WILL PROVIDE tmtghts becomes that it WOULD PROVIDE instghts. The past Perfect is the "Past of the Past," or the "Past Twice Removed" from the present time. 6) With a past tense reporting verb. move Present to Past. Past to Past Perfect. and Future to Conditional (that is will to would). VERB MOOD 6) In English, most sentences express facts with the Indicative Mood or commands with the Imperative Mood. You can expect to see the Subjunctive Mood in two special situations: l) Unlikely or unreal conditions (usually after if or a similar word). 2) Proposals, desires, and requests formed with certain verbs and the word that . These two uses correspond to two forms of the subjunctive mood: the Hypothetical Subjunctive and the Command Subjunctive. a) Use the Past Perfect tense if you need to clarify or emphasize a sequence of actions in the past. b) Do not use the perfect tenses when the simple tenses will do. The GMAT prefers simplicity. Wrong: Joe LEARNED about an epoch in which dinosaurs HAD WALKED the earth. Right: Joe LEARNED about an epoch in which dinosaurs WALKED the earth.

Wrong: Joe LEARNEDabout an epoch in which dinosaurs HAD WALKEDthe earth. Right: Joe LEARNEDabout an epoch in which dinosaurs WALKEDthe earth. In the first example, the Past Perfect had walked is unnecessary. Although the action had walked does take place earlier than the action learned, the earlier action does not have a direct bearing on the context of the later action. The sequence of time does not need to be clarified or emphasized. Thus, the Past Perfect is considered wrong in this context. You should use the perfect tenses only when you can Justify them with the rules described.

If an action began in the past and continues into the present (or its effect does), use the Present Perfect tense. If one action in the past precedes another, and you need to clarify or emphasize the time sequence, then use the Past Perfect tense. Otherwise, stick to the simpler tenses. a) Hypothetical Subjunctive: Principally, this form occurs after if, as if, or as though. Right: To overcome my fear of germs, I will think about disease as though it WERE harmless. Here are the five common patterns of if... then sentences. (1) General Rule with no uncertainty IF sophie EATS Pizza, THEN she BECOMES ill.

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