Concepts in GMAT Grammar – Things to Know

“Ill-fitting grammar is like ill-fitting shoes; you can get used to them for a bit but one day your toes fall off,” said Jasper Fforde. And that’s the last thing you want when you are trying to put your best step forward for the GMAT.

You are going to encounter Grammar related questions in the verbal section of the test. Sentence correction requires you to focus on the grammar, choice of words and sentence structure. That’s why knowledge of basic concepts of grammar is crucial.

How to tackle the section

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You will come across a sentence with a portion underlined. The underlined portion is then reproduced in five different ways and you are asked to choose the most grammatically correct option. The problem is that you may find more than one option that seems free of errors.

In such a scenario you need to look for answers that are concise, clear, without ambiguity and redundancy. Read, Dissect (while keeping an eye out for a few simple concepts), and Compare, should be your mantra to handle these questions.

GMAT Grammar concepts and tips you should follow

  • Most students are intimidated by grammar because it involves tedious terms like subjunctive, gerunds, appositive phrases etc. Firstly, get that fear out of our head because GMAT doesn’t ask you about these terms. You just have to recognize the correct form of the sentence.
  • Crucial concept to remember is difference between Clauses and Phrases. The former, divided into Independent and Dependant clause is like the building block of the sentence. Simply, any structure other than the clause is a Phrase.
  • Know the difference between Verbs and Verb forms. Verbs have different tenses and moods, which are easier to identify. Verb forms on the other hand can be found as participles (e.g. my singing bird). The key lies in identifying whether they act as verbs in the sentence.
  • Subject and the verb have to go hand in hand. It means singular subjects should go with singular verbs and likewise for plural subjects. This might seem like a simple rule to follow but GMAT sentences use constructions that can make your task tricky.
  • You also have to remember that collective nouns when used to represent a group are singular. However when different members of the group act individually, collective nouns are plural.

These are few basic grammar concepts that you need to pay attention to in order to be prepared for the crucial sentence correction section of your GMAT.

Recommended Read: Where do I get free videos for GMAT verbal?

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