GMAT Verbal Reasoning: Sentence Correction
The Sentence Correction part of the Verbal section tests your understanding of the basic rules of English grammar and usage. To succeed on these questions, you need a command of sentence structure, including tense and mood, subject and verb agreement, proper case, parallel structure, and other basics. No attempt is made to test for spelling or capitalization. However, the Verbal section does test punctuation, including commas and semicolons.
In the Sentence Correction part of the test, you will be given sentences in which all or part of the sentence is underlined. You will then be asked to choose the best phrasing of the underlined part from five alternatives. Choice (A) will always be the original phrasing.
Q1. The ladies on the neighborhood decorating committee decided to use last year's decorations to save money since the decorations were the same as the ones used last year.
(A) use last year's decorations to save money since the decorations were the same as the ones used last year.
(B) save money by using last year's decorations.
(C) save money by using the same decorations that were being used last year.
(D) use the decorations that were used last year to save money.
(E) save money and use decorations that were the same decorations that had been used last year.
Explanation for correct answer: B
The original sentence is wordy and repetitive. "Last years" decorations are the same thing as "the same ones that were used last year" so there is no reason to make this statement twice. Choice B corrects this error by preserving the meaning of the original sentence and conveying that meaning in a less wordy/repetitive manner.
Choice C makes the sentence even wordier by adding the "to be" verb (being used). This past progressive form of the verb is also odd here, since they were not continually used last year, they were only used once last year presumably.
Choice D is better than the original sentence, but still wordier than choice B.