PRONOUN USAGE RULE

Pronoun usage rule –

  1. Pronoun must refer to only one noun in sentence logically.

While solving sentence correction question make sure that every pronoun has only one logical antecedent.

Based on this there are two types of error that GMAT normally test on –

a. No antecedent –

If pronoun cannot logically refer to any noun present in the sentence, it falls into no antecedent error.

For e.g. To help other it, John volunteered in NGO.

In above sentence ‘it’ has no antecedent that it can refer. Hence the above sentence contains no antecedent error.

 

b.Ambiguity –

If pronoun can logically refer to two or more noun presents in the sentence then it falls into ambiguity error.

For e.g. Tom met John, while he was in London for two weeks.

In above sentence, he can refer to Tom as well as John. Hence it contains ambiguity pronoun error. To correct this error eliminate pronoun and repeat noun instead.

Tom met John, while John was in London for two weeks.

 

2. Pronoun must agree in number with the noun it refers to.

If the pronoun refers to singular noun, then pronoun should also be singular and if the pronoun refers to plural noun, then pronoun should also be plural.

For e.g. I like swimming and running, because it relaxes my mind.

In above sentence, the use of ‘it’ is wrong as ‘it’ refers to plural noun ‘swimming and running’. This can be corrected by using ‘they’ instead of ‘it’

I like swimming and running, because they relax my mind.

 

Apart from common he, she, they, it, we, I, you etc pronoun there are other special pronoun such as who, whose, whom etc. These pronoun have limitations. For e.g. ‘who’ can only be used to refer human and can act as subject only. Below table provides such pronoun and their limitations.


Pronoun
Human/Non-Human
Subject/Object
who
human
subject
whose
both
something possessed by the subject
whom
human
object
that
both
subject and object
which
non-human
subject and object

 

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