In this video, the PrepScholar GMAT team goes over eight of the most common mistakes test takers make when it comes to GMAT idioms. Use this opportunity to find out how to avoid potential mix-ups and watch the video for specific examples.
Mistake #1: “Such as” vs. “like”
In casual conversations “such as” and “like” are often used interchangeably before giving a list of examples. However, on the GMAT exam only “such as” is used to introduce examples while “like” is used to create a comparison.
Mistake #2: “Like” vs. “as”
We just found out that “like” is used for comparison. “As” is another word used for the same purpose. However, the important difference to remember is that “like” is only used to compare nouns, while “as” is used to compare verbs.
Mistake #3: “Due to” vs. “because of”
Similarly to the second mix-up, this one is also about nouns and verbs. The idiom “due to” only goes with nouns while “because of” only goes with verbs.
Mistake #4: “Whether” vs. “if”
This is another example of words that are often used interchangeably in spoken conversation to introduce alternatives. Although most people may not understand the difference between the two, only the word “whether” is accepted in the GMAT when introducing alternatives. “If” is only used to indicate a conditional.
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Mistake #5: “Less” vs. “fewer”
The words “less” and “fewer” are both used to compare amount. The difference between the two is that “less” compares uncountable nouns, while “fewer” compares countable nouns.
Mistake #6: “More” vs. “greater”
This mix-up is similar to the last one and you may already have some idea how the words are supposed to be used correctly. “More” is used for both uncountable and countable nouns. “Greater” is used for nouns that are numbers.
Mistake #7: “Among” vs. “between”
This is another set of idioms related to amount. Although “among” and “between” mean the same thing, “among” applies to groups of three or more, while “between” applies to groups of two.
Mistake #8: “I/me” vs. “myself”
You might already know that “I” is used as a subject, while “me” is an object. But did you know that “myself” is also used as an object only when you refer to something you do to yourself?
This rule is especially important because it applies to other sets of pronouns such as “she/her/herself”, “he/him/himself”, etc. A lot of test takers fall for “self” pronouns because they sound fancy but they are very often used incorrectly.
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