GMAT Verbal: Sentence Correction Example Problem #4

Example ProblemsProblem:

Though the term “graphic design” may suggest laying out corporate brochures and annual reports, they have come to signify widely ranging work, from package designs and company logotypes to signs, book jackets, computer graphics, and film titles.

(A) suggest laying out corporate brochures and annual reports, they have come to signify widely ranging
(B) suggest laying out corporate brochures and annual reports, it has come to signify a wide range of
(C) suggest corporate brochure and annual report layout, it has signified widely ranging
(D) have suggested corporate brochure and annual report layout, it has signified a wide range of
(E) have suggested laying out corporate brochures and annual reports, they have come to signify widely ranging

Solution:

Grammar Rules Tested!  Pronouns, illogical modification, and subject-verb agreement

This question is a bit tricky because it’s testing you on three concepts: pronouns, illogical modification, and subject-verb agreement.

Let’s tackle the pronoun first.  In the underlined portion of the sentence, “they” is used to replace “the term ‘graphic design.’”  Since “the term” is singular, it must be replaced by the singular pronoun “it.”

Tip! One mistake makes the entire answer choice wrong.

With the tip above in mind, you can eliminate all answer choices with the incorrect pronoun “they.” Knock out choices (A) and (E).

Now let’s take a look at choice (D).  Choice (D) uses the correct pronoun to replace “the term ‘graphic design,’” but the choice does not have proper subject-verb agreement.  “Have suggested” is a plural form of the verb, but our subject (“the term ‘graphic design’”) is singular.  Since the subject and verb do not agree, eliminate choice (D).

Tip! Always check subject-verb agreement.

This leaves us with choices (C) and (B).  Take a look at the part of each answer choice before the comma.  Both “suggest laying out corporate brochures and annual reports” and “suggest corporate brochure and annual report layout” are grammatically sound, so we can ignore the first part of both choices.  Let’s take a look at the second part following the comma.  Choice (B) uses the phrase “a wide range of” while choice (C) uses the phrase “widely ranging.”  Both of these phrases modify “work,” but only one of these phrases does so correctly.

Tip! Know your vocabulary and parts of speech.

To figure out which choice is better, let’s see how “ranging” and “range of” are functioning in the sentence.  In choice (C), “ranging” is acting as an adjective that modifies “work.”  Now we must consider the meaning of “ranging” as an adjective.  “Ranging” as an adjective means “working or grazing on a range,” like a horse or sheep.  Can work graze on a range like an animal? Absolutely not.  Choice (C) is out.

Now we are left with choice (B).  Why is this correct? First of all, the verb “suggest,” agrees with our subject “the term ‘graphic design.’”  Secondly, “it” properly replaces our subject “the term ‘graphic design.’”  Finally, “a wide range of” properly modifies work.  “A wide range of” indicates a variety of work, such as package designs, book jackets, and film titles.  Choice (B) is indubitably your best bet.

Find more sentence correction problems and solutions by clicking on the links below:

Sentence Correction #1

Sentence Correction #2

Sentence Correction #3

Sentence Correction #5

Sentence Correction #6

Sentence Correction #7

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