SC Rules of Thumb

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  1. Different Than
    “different than” is always wrong when comparing two nouns

    Bottom line: when you see “different” in Sentence Correction, you must ask yourself whether the comparison is between two nouns or between a noun and a clause. If the comparison is between two nouns, then you better look for an answer choice without the phrase “different than.”
  2. Like / Such as
    Another such instance is the difference between "like" and "such as"

    • in GMAT Sentence Correction, such as is used to introduce examples, while "like" indicates only similarity and cannot be used for examples at all.
    • 1) I enjoy playing sports such as football and baseball
    • 2) I enjoy playing sports like football and baseball
  3. "this" is an adjective
    (this fact...).by the way, it's ALWAYS wrong to use "this" as a pronoun in formal english. so if you see "this is...", then you can just cross that choice out

    anything in which "this" is used as a noun is incorrect. if you see "this is..."; "this shows that"; "this VERB" in general, then it's wrong.

    The only acceptable use of "this" in formal written english is as an adjective: this fact, this predator, this notion, etc.
  4. Being is ALMOST always wrong
  5. Delighted by the reported earnings for the first quarter of the fiscal year, it was decided by the company manager to give her staff a raise.
    it was decided by the ... When "it" refers to something other than a thing being described (a dog, a desk, a country), "it" as the subject is almost never correct. Because the sentence is about a decision made by the company manager, the company manager herself should be the subject.

    • While, very occasionally, a GMAT SC correct answer will use passive voice, passive constructions are always wrong when an active construction is available. Passive voice is characterized by a misplacement of the subject, like putting the company manager where she is in this sentence. Often, passive constructions use the verb "was," as is the case here.
    • the company manager decided to give her staff a raise
  6. Passive Sentences
    In short, if somebody or something did something, the actor should come first. "I did it" is much better than "it was done by me."
  7. Delighted by the reported earnings for the first quarter of the fiscal year, it was decided by the company manager to give her staff a raise.
    However you describe it, there's one fundamental rule with clauses such as these: the first word to follow the comma must be the thing that the clause is describing. In this case, the word following the comma should describe whoever it was who was "delighted." Since it is the company manager who was delighted and decided to give her staff a raise, "the company manager" needs to appear right after the comma.
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SC Rules of Thumb
2010-04-26 05:26:01

Sentence Corretion Rules of thumb
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