Lesson: Pronouns - Part I

Comment on Pronouns - Part I

"I have reserved the table for me and my father" is this sentence correct with respect to pronoun use or should it be " I and my father"?
gmat-admin's picture

The correct pronoun is "me" as in "I have reserved the table for me and my father." The verb phrase here is "have reserved" and the person performing this action is "I," which makes "I" the subject of the sentence.

This also means that "me" and "my father" are objects in the sentence, in which case "me" is the appropriate pronoun.

American Pop culture has ruined my english,
Thank you Brent, for the videos !
gmat-admin's picture

Ha! You're not alone :-)

At 10:05, would it be correct to write the sentence as "Nigel and two hundred other activists signed a petition to voice their anger." ?
gmat-admin's picture

Yes, that would be correct.

Isnt the correct form "Zeke's snoring was so loud that it distracted everyone else in class"?
How can Zeke's snoring distrub Zeke too?
gmat-admin's picture

The answer to that question depends on where Zeke is sleeping.

If Zeke is sleeping IN the class, then it should be "Zeke's snoring was so loud that it distracted everyone ELSE in class," so as not to include Zeke in the group of people who were distracted.

If Zeke is sleeping OUTSIDE the class (e.g., in the hall, in the next room, etc), then it should be "Zeke's snoring was so loud that it distracted everyone in class."

That said, my intent was that Zeke was, indeed, in the class. So, good catch!!

Hi Brent,

"Peter wanted to become a sculptor, but his sister argued that he wouldn`t make much money from it"

Couldn´t we say that "to become a sculptor" is a infinitive phrase working as a noun (object)? If this is correct, why is it incorrect to say that the pronoun "it" makes reference correctly to "to become a sculptor"?

Thanks :)
gmat-admin's picture

You're referring to the example at 7:58 in the video.

Great idea! The only problem is that one doesn't make money from BECOMING a sculptor.

For example, let's say I go to school to learn sculpting. Let's also say that, on graduation day, I BECOME a sculptor. At that moment (of becoming an official sculptor), no one walks up to me and gives me money :-)

Does that make sense?

Cheers,
Brent

Yes, that makes sense!
Thank you!

Hi Brent

Could you please help me identify the Subject and the Verb in the following sentence:

Peter wanted to become a sculptor, but his sister argued that he wouldn`t make much money from sculpting.
gmat-admin's picture

There are several.

I recommend looking for verbs first. Then, for each verb, identify the corresponding subject (the person/thing performing that verb).

Here are the verbs: Peter WANTED to become a sculptor, but his sister ARGUED that he wouldn't MAKE much money from sculpting.

Peter is the person/thing who is doing the wanting. So, Peter is the subject that corresponds to the verb WANT

The sister is the person/thing who is doing the arguing. So, the sister is the subject that corresponds to the verb ARGUED

Peter is the person/thing who is not doing the making (money making). So, Peter is the subject that corresponds to the verb MAKE.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,
GMATPrep test 1 and 2 is available where?

Hi Brent,

Please refer to Q : https://gmatclub.com/forum/navigators-have-known-for-thousands-of-years-that-the-ocean-37790.html

1. I was able to eliminate B,C,D,E because of pronoun ambiguity error. The pronouns "their" & "them" may refer to either patterns or currents. My query is that is pronoun ambiguity sufficient condition for elimination of an answer choice?

2. Do you see any parallelism issue with (B)?

3. In OA i.e. (A), the prepositional phrase "of the patterns..." is placed far away from the noun it modifies i.e. picture. Is this usage valid? Furthermore, how can "of the patterns" AND "causes" be parallel to each other? Shouldn't "of the patterns" AND "of the causes of ocean currents" be parallel?

Thanks & Regards,
Abhirup
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/navigators-have-known-for-thousands-of-years-...

1) If it's unclear what a pronoun is representing, then we can eliminate that answer choice.

2) I don't see any parallelism issue with answer choice B.
Aside: with B, the most glaring problem (IMO) is that the plural HAVE does not agree with the singular PICTURE.

3) You're right. However, if we leave the phrase "has emerged" to the end, it's hard to see what actually emerged.

As for the exclusion of "OF THE", we can see that "OF THE" can be distributed across both phrases, much in the same way that it's okay to write: "Joe is very fond of the mall and the playground", which we COULD also write as "Joe is very fond of the mall and of the playground," but the second sentence seems necessarily clunky.

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Apologies for a longish post but I am really struggling with this.

1. I am a little hazy on the implication of the word "unclear". E.g. "When Gloria caught the children smoking her cigars, she locked THEM in the cupboard." For this sentence you mentioned that although it is reasonable to assume that THEM refers to cigars(so its CLEAR right?), for the Test we cannot make such assumptions and the sentence needs to be fixed. Lets consider this official Q : https://gmatclub.com/forum/most-states-impose-limitations-on-the-authority-of-the-legislature-to-59283.html
Upon seeing the sentence I see "THEIR" and I see two plural nouns i.e. "STATES", "LIMITATIONS". At this point do I straight away eliminate the sentence as GRAMMATICALLY "THEIR" might refer back to any plural noun or do I think logically that "THEIR" can only refer to STATES and look for some other issue with the sentence?

2. In Lesson 27 on Parallelism, you used a complex sentence. In the corrected version of the sentence you used "caused BY insufficient sleep and BY low blood sugar levels". Prepositional phrases should be parallel just as nouns to nouns, verbs to verbs, etc. However if "OF THE" can be distributed across both phrases then why can't we have the same treatment with "BY" or say relative clauses starting with "who"? This is why I though there was parallelism issue with (B) as "OF THE" and "their" can't be parallel. Please help me allay my confusion.

Thanks & Regards,
Abhirup
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/most-states-impose-limitations-on-the-authori...

No worries, Abhirup. Long posts/questions are always fine by me! :-)

1) If there's any possible ambiguity, then you can eliminate the answer choice.
HOWEVER, as you alluded to, we can't force ambiguity on a sentence.
For example, if I write "Joe told his daughter that SHE owed him $10," we can't say that SHE is ambiguous, since it is clear that SHE refers to the only only female mentioned in the sentence.

Conversely, if I write "Joe told his son that HE owed him $10," we can see that HE is ambiguous, since it could be the case that the father (Joe) owes his son $10, OR it could be the case that the son owes his father (Joe) $10.

2) As I mention at 4:30 in https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-sentence-correction/video/1171, for MOST sentences, there are no clear-cut rules for when it's okay and when it's not okay to omit words. For this reason, it's extremely unlikely that a SC question will hinge solely on this kind of parallelism. That said, it's always better to include the prepositions in parallel structures as the GMAT will never penalize you for this.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Thanks a lot Brent for every bit of your guidance!

1) "Joe told his son that it was a mistake on HIS part to eat the pastries all by HIMSELF." Lets assume everything is underlined starting the word "that" till the end. Now if I look at the sentence strictly from a grammatical point of view then I see pronoun issue. But if I think logically then I will infer that Joe might actually be disciplining his son and that his son ate all the pastries. So what needs to be done in such a sentence correction Q? Or is it never the case that such a sentence with no other issue apart from the pronoun HIS will appear on the GMAT? Is it extremely unlikely that such a SC Q will hinge solely on this kind of pronoun issue?

Regards,
Abhirup
gmat-admin's picture

I'm happy to help, Abhirup!

The sentence "Joe told his son that it was a mistake on HIS part to eat the pastries all by HIMSELF" is ambiguous, since it's possible that JOHN made the mistake of eating the pastries.
One way to remove the ambiguity is to write: After Joe's son, Moe, ate all the pastries, Joe told him that doing such gluttony was a mistake.

There are definitely answer choices that can be eliminated solely on account of a misplaced pronoun.

Cheers,
Brent

Thanks Brent.
A query regarding parallelism. Like infinitives, can auxiliary verbs be used throughout or before the first verb only?
E.g. "Robin may wash, paint and dance tonight."
gmat-admin's picture

It wouldn't be incorrect to write "Robin may wash, may paint and may dance tonight", BUT it's easier to read if we write "Robin may wash, paint and dance tonight"

Lokendra's picture

Is this is correct
Peter wanted to become sculpture, but his sister argued that he wouldn't make much money from being sculpture.
gmat-admin's picture

That's pretty close. Just two notes:

1) A sculptor is someone who creates sculptures (just like a painter is someone who creates paintings).
So, we need "sculptor" not "sculpture."

2) Also, we need an article (a) in front of sculptor.

So, the following would be correct:
Peter wanted to become a sculptor, but his sister argued that he wouldn't make much money from being a sculptor.

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

I had a problem with this question

https://gmatclub.com/forum/as-its-sales-of-computer-products-have-surpassed-those-of-measuring-in-22712.html

I chose B, and I know why it was incorrect(because of pronoun issue), yet I am still confused about the structure of this sentence:

As its sales of computer products have surpassed those of measuring instruments, the company has become increasingly willing to compete for the mass market sales it would in the past have conceded to rivals.

As far as I understand there is missing (that) which is optional because "the mass market sales" is an object and "it" which refers to "company" is the subject.

So longer version would sound like this:

As its sales of computer products have surpassed those of measuring instruments, the company has become increasingly willing to compete for the mass market sales that the company would in the past have conceded to rivals.

Do I understand it correctly, or I misunderstood the structure?"

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/as-its-sales-of-computer-products-have-surpas...

Yes, your reword encapsulates the intent of the correct answer.

Cheers,
Brent

thank you Brent

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why the answer choice B is incorrect and why C is correct:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-a-previous-design-the-weight-of-the-discus-used-in-track-competiti-100508.html?reloaded_session=1&cb=tp48zmfb

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/in-a-previous-design-the-weight-of-the-discus...

(B) According to a previous design, THE WEIGHT (of the discus used in track competition) was concentrated (in a metal center), but now IT is lined with lead around the perimeter, thereby improving stability in flight and resulting in longer throws.
We have a pronoun error here.
The parts in brackets are prepositional phrases modifying the words before them.
When we ignore these modifiers, we get: The WEIGHT was concentrated, but now IT is lined with lead.
The WEIGHT is lined with lead?
No, the DISCUSS is lined with lead.
Eliminate B.

(C) Once designed with its weight concentrated in a metal center, THE DISCUSS used in track competition is now lined with lead around the perimeter, thereby improving stability in flight and resulting in longer throws.
When we ignore the fluff here, we get: The DISCUSS is now lined with lead around the perimeter.
Perfect!

Cheers,
Brent

THANK YOU VERY MUCH BRENT

Add a comment

Office Hours

Have questions about your preparation or an upcoming test? Need help modifying the Study Plan to meet your unique needs? No problem. Just book a Skype meeting with Brent to discuss these and any other questions you may have. 

Change Playback Speed

You have the option of watching the videos at various speeds (25% faster, 50% faster, etc). To change the playback speed, click the settings icon on the right side of the video status bar.

Have a question about this video?

Post your question in the Comment section below, and I’ll answer it as fast as humanly possible.

Free “Question of the Day” emails!