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GMAT Sentence Correction: A Can-Do Attitude

Consider this simple sentence:

1) Lang Lang can play the most difficult piano concerti in the classical repertoire.

That sentence, clear and concise, could be a correct sentence on GMAT SC.  Now, consider these wordier variants

1a) Lang Lang has the ability to play the most difficult piano concerti in the classical repertoire.

1b) Lang Lang is able to play the most difficult piano concerti in the classical repertoire.

1c) Lang Lang has the potential to play the most difficult piano concerti in the classical repertoire.

1d) Lang Lang has the capability of playing the most difficult piano concerti in the classical repertoire.

1e) Lang Lang is capable of playing the most difficult piano concerti in the classical repertoire.

Notice, those are five wordier ways of communicating Lang Lang’s ability, five wordier ways of saying that he “can play” those pieces.  Whenever you see phrases like this in GMAT Sentence Correction —- “is able to”, “has the capability of” —- realize that you are looking a wordy way of simply saying “can”, and look for that simple option.

Direct and concise is always better than extra-wordy on the GMAT.  Look for these key phrases as a hint that something can be simplified.  You can do it!

 

About the Author

Mike McGarry is a Content Developer for Magoosh with over 20 years of teaching experience and a BS in Physics and an MA in Religion, both from Harvard. He enjoys hitting foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Follow him on Google+!

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