Note: "I CAN SING" is preferred to "I HAVE THE ABILITY TO SING."
I value my ABILITY OF SINGING.
I value my ABILITY FOR SINGING.
I value the ABILITY FOR me TO SING.
The holiday ALLOWS Maria TO WATCH the movie today. (=permits)
Maria WAS ALLOWED TO WATCH the movie.
The demolition of the old building ALLOWS FOR new construction. (=permits the existence of)
The holiday ALLOWED FOR Maria TO WATCH the movie.
The holiday ALLOWED Maria the WATCHING OF the movie.
The holiday ALLOWS THAT homework be done (or CAN BE done).
Homework is ALLOWED FOR DOING BY Maria.
The ALLOWING OF shopping TO DO (or TO BE DONE).
We are concerned about the forests AND the oceans.
We are concern about the forests, the oceans, AND the mountains.
We work all night, AND we sleep all day (note the comma).
We are concerned about the forests AND ALSO the oceans.
We work all night AND we sleep all day. (link 2 clauses with comma + AND)
We are concerned about the forests, ALSO the oceans.
AS I walked, I became more nervous. (=during)
AS I had already paid, I was unconcerned. (=because, since)
AS we did last year, we will win this year. (=in the same way)
JUST AS we did last year, we will win this year. (=in the same way)
My first job was an apprenticeship OF a sketch artist.
They worked AS a sketch artist. (needs to agree in number)
WHILE BEING a child, I delivered newspapers.
WHILE IN childhood, I delivered newspapers.
Cheese is AS GREAT AS people say.
We have AS MANY apples AS need to be cooked.
We have 10 apples, ABOUT AS MANY AS we picked yesterday.
We have AT LEAST AS MANY apples AS you.
His knowledge springs AS MUCH from experience AS from schooling.
Cheese is NOT SO great AS people say.
We have AS MANY AS OR MORE apples THAN you.
Cheese is SO great AS people say.
We have AS MANY OR MORE apples THAN you.
We have 10 apples, ABOUT EQUIVALENT TO what we picked yesterday.
AS...SO (applies to parallelism)
AS you practice, SO shall you play. (=in the same way or manner).
JUST AS you practice, SO shall you play. (=in the same way or manner)
JUST AS you practice piano regularly, you should study regularly. (=in the same way; the situations are analogous)
You practice, SO you shall play.
JUST LIKE you practice, SO shall you play.
BECAUSE the sun SHINES, plants grow.
Plants grow BECAUSE the sun SHINES.
BECAUSE OF the sun, plants grow.
BY SHINING, the sun makes plants grow.
Plans grow, FOR the sun shines. (grammatically correct by very formal)
Plans grow BECAUSE OF the sun, WHICH SHINES.
Plants are amazing IN THAT they grow in the sun.(correct but wordy)
Plants grow AS A RESULT OF the sun SHINING.
The ABILITY OF plants TO grow IS BECAUSE the sun shines.
BEING THAT the sun shines, plants grow.
BEING infected does not make you sick.
The judges saw the horses BEING led to the stables.
BEING an advocate of reform, I would like to make a different proposal.
Note - "Being" is often wordy/awkward. The GMAT knows about the "BEING is wrong" shortcut, so they make problems that force you to choose BEING.
BEING appears in many more wrong answers than right ones.
-->Choose BEING answers if sure the others are wrong.
She BELIEVES THAT Gary IS right.
She BELIEVES Gary TO BE right.
IT IS BELIEVED THAT Gary IS right.
Gary IS BELIEVED TO BE right.
Gary IS BELIEVED BY her TO BE right.
BETWEEN (applies to parallelism)
A battle ensued BETWEEN the reactionaries AND the radicals.
A skirmish ensued AMONG the combatants. (more than 2 parties)
A battle ensued BETWEEN the reactionaries WITH the radicals.
A battle ensued AMONG the reactionaries AND the radicals.
A battle ensued AMONG the reactionaries WITH the radicals.
She was interested BOTH in plants AND in animals.
She was interested in BOTH plants AND animals.
She was interested BOTH in plants AND animals.
She was interested BOTH in plants AS WELL AS in animals.
She was interested BOTH in plants BUT ALSO in animals.
I STUDY hard BUT TAKE breaks.
I STUDY hard, BUT I TAKE breaks.
ALTHOUGH I TAKE frequent naps, I STUDY effectively.
DESPITE TAKING frequent naps, I STUDY effectively.
I TAKE frequent naps, YET I STUDY effectively.
DESPITE THE FACT THAT I TAKE frequent naps, I STUDY effectively.
ALTHOUGH a frequent napper, I STUDY effectively. (follow ALTHOUGH with a clause).
I STUDY effectively ALTHOUGH TAKING frequent naps.
The manager CAN RUN the plant.
The plant CAN CAUSE damage.
The manager IS ABLE TO RUN the plant.
The manager IS CAPABLE OF RUNNING the plant.
It is POSSIBLE FOR the plant TO CAUSE damage.
The plant POSSIBLE CAUSES damage.
The plant HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF CAUSING damage.
Note: All these forms are correct, but wordier than CAN.
COMPARED (applies to parallelism)
IN COMPARISON WITH (or TO) horses, zebras are vicious.
A zebra can be COMPARED TO a horse in many ways.
COMPARED WITH a horse, however, a zebra is very hard to tame.
**Note: The GMAT ignores the traditional distinction between COMPARED TO (emphasizing similarities) and COMPARED WITH (emphasizing differences)
AS COMPARED WITH (or TO) horses, zebras are vicious.
Zebras are MORE vicious COMPARED TO horses.
CONSIDER (applies to parallelism)
I CONSIDER her a friend.
I CONSIDER illegal the law passed last week by the new regime. (Note: I can switch the order of the two objects, if one is long).
The law IS CONSIDERED illegal.
The judge CONSIDERS the law TO BE illegal.
The judge CONSIDERS the law AS illegal (or AS BEING illegal).
The judge CONSIDERS the law AS IF IT WERE illegal.
The judge CONSIDERS the law SHOULD BE illegal.
CONTRAST (applies to parallelism)
IN CONTRAST WITH the zoo, the park charges no admission.
IN CONTRAST TO the zoo, the park charges no admission.
UNLIKE the zoo, the park charges no admission.
AS CONTRASTED WITH the zoo, the park charges no admission.
IN CONTRAST TO the zoo CHARGING admission, the park does not.
DEVELOP (applies to parallelism)
The executive DEVELOPED her idea INTO a project.
The idea DEVELOPED INTO a project.
An idea DEVELOPED ITSELF INTO a project.
DIFFER/DIFFERENT (applies to parallelism)
My opinion DIFFERS FROM yours.
My opinion IS DIFFERENT FROM yours.
My opinion IS DIFFERENT IN COMPARISON TO yours.
Note: Try not to use DIFFERENT THAN - instead, use DIFFERENT FROM when comparing nouns.
The deficit is DUE TO overspending. (=results from)
Our policy will not cover damage DUE TO fire. (=resulting from)
BECAUSE politicians SPEND money, we have a deficit.
DUE TO politicians SPENDING money, we have a deficit.
DUE TO THE FACT THAT politicians SPEND money, we have a deficit.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH TO READ in a night.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH FOR me TO READ in a night.
Suspect: The power plant has found a way to generate energy at an unprecedented scale, ENOUGH FOR powering an entire city.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH THAT I could read it in a night.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH FOR IT TO BE read in a night.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH SO THAT I could read it in a night.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH AS TO BE read in a night.
We EXPECT the price TO FALL.
The price IS EXPECTED TO FALL.
We EXPECT THAT the price WILL FALL.
IT IS EXPECTED THAT the price WILL FALL.
Inflation rose more than we EXPECTED.
There IS an EXPECTATION THAT the price will fall.
There IS an EXPECTATION the price WILL FALL.
There IS an EXPECTATION OF the price FALLING.
Inflation rose more than we EXPECTED IT TO (or WOULD).
The price IS EXPECTED FOR IT TO FALL.
IT IS EXPECTED THAT the price SHOULD FALL.
Inflation can hurt profits IF costs increase. (IF = condition)
I can eat ice cream, PROVIDED THAT my doctor approves. (= ONLY IF)
Inflation can hurt profits WHEN costs increase. (WHEN = time period)
I can eat ice cream, PROVIDED my doctor approves. (requires THAT)
IN ORDER TO
She drank coffee IN ORDER TO STAY awake.
She drank coffee TO STAY awake. (infinitive TO STAY indicates purpose.)
She drank coffee IN ORDER THAT or SO THAT she MIGHT stay awake.
She drank coffee SO AS TO STAY awake.
Wrong: She drank coffee FOR STAYING awake.
Coffee was drunk by her IN ORDER TO STAY awake or TO STAY awake.
Note: the subject COFFEE is not trying TO STAY awake.
A report INDICATES THAT unique bacteria LIVE on our skin.
A report INDICATES/IS INDICATIVE OF the presence of unique bacteria on our skin. (note: this correct form seems to be avoided in right answers.)
A report INDICATES unique bacteria LIVE on our skin. (THAT is needed.)
A report IS INDICATIVE THAT unique bacteria LIVE on our skin.
A report INDICATES unique bacteria AS present on our skin.
A report INDICATES unique bacteria TO LIVE on our skin.
LIKE his sister, Matt drives fast cars. (=both drive fast cars).
Matt drives fast cars LIKE his sister. (=both drive fast cars, OR both drive fast cars in the same way)
Matt drives fast cars LIKE his sister's. (=both drive similar cars, or, less optimally, one of the cars he drives is his sister's).
Matt drives fast cars LIKE his sister does.
LIKE his sister, SO Matt drives fast cars.
My friend IS LIKELY TO EAT worms.
IT IS LIKELY THAT my friend WILL EAT worms.
MY friend is MORE LIKELY THAN my enemy [is] TO EAT worms.
My friend is TWICE AS LIKELY AS my enemy [is] TO EAT worms.
MORE THAN LIKELY, my friend WILL EAT worms.
My friend IS LIKELY THAT he WILL EAT worms.
RATHER THAN my enemy, my friend is THE MORE LIKELY to EAT worms.
She DID NOT EAT mangoes BUT ATE other kinds of fruit.
She DID NOT EAT mangoes BUT LIKED other kinds of fruit AND later BEGAN to like kiwis, too.
A tomato is NOT a vegetable BUT a fruit.
A tomato is NOT a vegetable BUT RATHER a fruit.
The agency is NOT a fully independent entity BUT INSTEAD derives its authority from Congress. (note that the verbs "is" and "derives" are parallel)
She DID NOT EAT mangoes; INSTEAD, she ate other kinds of fruit.
She DID NOT EAT mangoes BUT/RATHER other kinds of fruit.
NOT ONLY...BUT ALSO
We wore NOT ONLY boots BUT ALSO sandals.
We wore NOT ONLY boots, BUT ALSO sandals. (optional is comma)
We wore NOT JUST boots bUT ALSO sandals.
We wore NOT ONLY boots BUT sandals.
Note: the GMAT has used this construction in correct answers.
We wore NOT ONLY boots BUT sandals AS WELL.
We wore boots AND ALSO sandals.
We wore NOT ONLY boots AND ALSO sandals.
We wore NOT ONLY boots BUT, AS WELL, sandals.
Right: The book was SO SHORT THAT I could read it in one night.
The book was SHORT ENOUGH FOR me TO READ in one night.
Note: These two expressions have slightly different emphases, but it is unlikely that you will need to choose an answer solely on this basis.
The book was SO SHORT I could read it. (THAT is preferred)
The book was OF SUCH SHORTNESS THAT I could read it.
The book was OF SUCH SHORTNESS, I could read it.
She gave money SO THAT the school could offer scholarships. (= purpose)
She gave money, SO the school was grateful. (= result)
She gave money SO the school could offer scholarships.
Matt drives fast cars, SUCH AS Ferraris. (=example)
Matt enjoys driving SUCH cars AS Ferraris.
Matt enjoys intense activities, SUCH AS DRIVING fast cars.
Suspect: Matt drives fast cars LIKE Ferraris. (=similar to, but "example" is implied)
Wrong: Matt drives Ferraris AND THE LIKE.
Matt drives Ferraris AND OTHER cars SUCH AS THESE.
Matt trains in many ways SUCH AS BY DRIVING on racetracks.
Matt enjoys intense activities, SUCH AS TO DRIVE fast cars.
His books are MORE impressive THAN those of other writers.
This paper is LESS impressive THAN that one.
This paper is NO LESS impressive THAN that one.
This newspaper costs 50 cents MORE THAN that one.
MORE THAN 250 newspapers are published here.
Sales are HIGHER this year THAN last year.
His books are MORE impressive AS those of other writers.
This paper is MORE impressive RATHER THAN that one.
This paper is MORE impressive INSTEAD OF that one.
This paper is NO LESS impressive AS that one.
This paper is NONE THE LESS impressive THAN that one.
Sales are HIGHER this year OVER last years.
UNLIKE the spiny anteater, the aardvark is docile.
UNLIKE WITH the spiny anteater, the aardvark is docile.
I do not know WHETHER I will go.
I do not know WHETHER OR NOT I will go.
I do not know IF I will go. (IF requires a consequence)
WHETHER...OR (applies to parallelism)
I decided to eat the food, WHETHER it was tasty OR NOT.
WHETHER trash OR treasure, the recyclables must be picked up.
WHETHER trash OR ALSO treasure, the recyclables must be picked up.
WHETHER THEY BE trash OR treasure, the recyclables must go.
Strategy for dealing with idioms
Essentially, it involves paring the idiom down to its simplest elements, then using my ear to choose an answer.
(1) Find the idiom
(2) Take the idiom and put it into a simpler sentence that I can easily compare. This means I'm leaving out extraneous modifiers. Alternatively, I can make up a new sentence. The point is to present my ear with a simple version of the idiom.
(3) Replace my guess in the sentence and confirm that it works.
Plan to/plan for
There is a difference between "plan to" + verb, and "plan for" + verb-ing
"Plan to" + verb
This is something that I will actually do
e.g. "I plan to sell my clothes"
"Plan for" + verb-ing
This is something that I want to do but isn't the actual steps of the plan. This describes the purpose of the plan, but not the actual steps of the plan
e.g. "I plan for making money is to sell my clothes."
Gerunds (By ___-ing forms) vs. verbal nouns
Idiomatically, "BY ___ing" retains the subject of the preceding clause.
Therefore, when you use the "by ___ing" form, you are including the subject in the action. When you use the "___ion" type construction, you are excluding the subject from the action
"I am bored by performing jazz." --> I get bored when I play jazz.
"I am bored by the performance of jazz." -->I don't like to sit and listen to someone else play jazz.
"Due to" modifies nouns (not clauses).
Be careful with how you use "due to" - it can only be used in very defined ways.
The "due to" clause must modify a noun, and the pairing must make sense!
Right: Her high score was due to diligent study. --> "Due to diligent study" modifies "high score"
Wrong: "Due to overheating from a broken air conditioner, the host had to cancel the party on short notice." --> Here, the overheating is due to a broken air conditioner. But, the "due to" construction modifies the noun "the host". The "host" was not due to "overheating" -- this is nonsensical!
"Due to" vs. "because of"
"Because of his intolerant attitude, that politician always seems to be attacking the poor."
"Because of" modifies the verb "seems." Why does the politician seem to be attacking the poor? Because of his intolerant attitude. So, "because of" modifies verbs, and that's exactly what it's doing here.
+ Also, "because of" modifies the entire clause/idea/etc. + "Due to" does modify nouns, but it's typically used after the verb "to be." For example, "The team's win today was due to better conditioning."