Sunday, February 19, 2006

Correct and Incorrect Idioms

This post will be a repository of correct and incorrect idioms from a GMAT point of view. Some of these are gramatically correct in English verbiage, but if GMAC says "no!', no it is !

Feel free to add your own in the comments section !

Correct Idioms

  • "so ... as to be ..." (Source : KV says this is often correct)
  • "credited with" (Source : KV)
  • "associate...with" (KV)
  • "compare with" is the preferred form. Use "compare to" for abstract or figurative likeness only (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?) (KV)
  • "dispute over" - When "dispute" is a noun. (KV)
  • "just as ... so too.."
  • "in danger of"
  • "linked to"
  • "not ... but [rather, merely]
  • "not so... as"
  • "not so"
  • "perceive as"
  • "prohibit from"
  • " to be"
  • "so...that"
  • "superior to"

Incorrect Idioms

  • "so as" : so as to promote (Source : KV)
  • "consider to be" (KV) (AS in : I consider you a good friend)

Choosing between two commonly-used idioms
  • Use "among" for more than two items, "between" for two items (KV)
  • Use "like" to compare nouns, "as" to compare actions (When the following part is a clause) (KV)
  • Use "both" to point similarities, "each" to point differences. "Each" is always singular
  • Use "twice, thrice" for comparision; "double, triple" is used as a verb only.
  • "each other" is for two things; "one another" for more than two.
  • If v/s Whether : If there is a choice between the two, use "whether". On GMAT, "if" is primarily for if/then type sentences.
  • like v/s such as : Use "such as" when possible. On GMAT. "like" is used when implying "similar to"
  • "native to" for plants/animals. "native of" for people

Abbreviations :

KV: Kaplan Verbal

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