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Extra Information Between two Commas on GMAT


In this short video, you are explained the concept of putting extra information between two commas. This concept will help you in saving time and eliminating answer choices on the GMAT sentence correction.


Extra Information Between two Commas on GMAT


In this short article, we will cover the concept of information presented between two commas. On GMAT, there are clear guidelines on what type of information can be presented between two commas, in a sentence; understanding this concept will allow you to eliminate GMAT sentence correction answer choices more efficiently and save a great deal of time.

The Concept


In a correct sentence, when two commas appear, removing the text between the two commas should yield a complete sentence. For example, in the previous sentence the phrase "when two commas appear" is between two commas and removing this information produces the sentence "In a correct sentence, when two commas appear should yield a complete sentence." that is still a perfectly correct sentence. Essentially, on GMAT, any information that is presented between two commas must be such that its removal will not affect the meaning of the sentence. Let us further illustrate this concept through a separate example:

Example 1 - Brussels, a historical city, has many churches.
As you can clearly see, this sentence has two commas and between them the phrase "a historical city" is present. If the information between the two commas is removed, the resultant sentence is:

Brussels has many churches.

As the resultant sentence is a complete and grammatically correct sentence, in its own right, we can conclude that the original sentence is correct.

There are two core learnings to take away from this article; first of all, on GMAT, any information presented between two commas should be extra information that will not alter the basic meaning or grammatical correctness of a sentence if it is removed. The second learning is quite important, and essentially the inverse of the first learning; on the GMAT, any information that is important for preserving the core meaning of a sentence should never be presented between two commas.

This concept forms a very objective and important criterion for sentence correctness that you can utilize to efficiently eliminate incorrect answer choices in GMAT sentence correction questions. If any answer choice has information between two commas, begin by removing that information from the sentence and see if the resulting sentence is grammatically correct and preserves the same core meaning; if it does not, the answer choice can be safely eliminated.

This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Sentence Correction videos.

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