GMAT Sentence Correction: The Boss Is Always Right

Can there be some error in the non-underlined part in a GMAT Sentence Correction question? This is a common question asked by a lot of people preparing for the GMAT.sentence correction-1 Instead of answering this question upfront, let me take an example.

The following is the Q. No. 685 on OG 2017 (Page 685)

Especially in the early years, new entrepreneurs may need to find resourceful ways, like renting temporary office space or using answering services, that make their company seem large and more firmly established than they may actually be.

A) that make their company seem large
B) to make their companies seem large
C) thus making their companies seem larger
D) so that the companies seem larger
E) of making their company seem large

The question that is likely to crop up in our mind is: how can “like” be used to introduce examples?

Rule 1: Do not ever worry about errors in the non-underlined portion of the sentence in a GMAT Sentence Correction question. There won’t be any.Sentence correction-2

Let’s consider this example. Here “like” is not used to introduce examples. The new entrepreneurs need not find resourceful ways such as “renting temporary office space” or “using answering services” because these “ways” are already there. The new entrepreneurs need to find other resourceful ways that are similar to the two mentioned above.

This is another difference between “like” and “such as”: “such as” includes, “like” excludes.

When in USA, I used to eat fruits such as banana and apple. — Fruits that I used to eat included banana and apple.

When I was in USA, I searched for fruits like wood apple, but could not find any. — I didn’t search for wood apples – perhaps, I knew that I would not get wood apples, so I searched for fruits that were similar to wood apple – not wood apple.

In the sentence under reference, “renting temporary office space” and “using answering services” are resourceful ways already found out. New entrepreneurs may need to find resourceful ways other than these — they don’t need to find these resourceful ways. They need to find (new) resourceful ways similar to these.

Therefore, use of “like” here is justified.

Further, note that you do not need to worry about this part of the sentence to get to the right answer.

Rule 2: Even if there is a mistake in the non-underlined part, refer to Rule 1.

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