Test: Pronouns- 2


15 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Pronouns- 2


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QUESTION: 1

Supporters of tax breaks that local governments award to businesses each year to prevent them from moving consider them vital economic development tools while critics denounce the tax breaks as corporate welfare that helps some localities but weakens the national economy.

Solution:

The pronoun "them" in the phrase "prevent them from moving" clearly refers to "businesses," the immediately preceding plural noun. However, when the pronoun "them" is used again in the phrase "consider them vital economic development tools," its antecedent is unclear; logically, the pronoun refers to the "tax breaks," but
based on its position in the sentence (near the plural noun "businesses" and the first "them" which refers back to businesses) "them" here illogically refers to the businesses. Moreover, the phrase "award to businesses" (award to x) is wordy and could be shortened to the more concise and idiomatic "award businesses" (award x).
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) In placing "consider" at the beginning of the sentence, this choice is able to avoid a second use of the pronoun "them," thereby correcting the pronoun issue. It also correctly replaces "award to businesses" with the more idiomatic "award businesses."
However, the use of the phrase "to be" in this context is unidiomatic. The proper idiom is "consider x y" not "consider x to be y." In this case "consider tax breaks . . . vital tools" is idiomatic, while "consider tax breaks to be . . . vital tools" is not.
(C) This choice correctly replaces "award to businesses" with the more idiomatic "award businesses." However, it does not solve the pronoun problem from the original sentence. The pronoun "them" in the phrase "prevent them from moving" clearly refers to "businesses," the immediately preceding plural noun. Yet, when the pronoun
"them" is used again in the phrase "consider them vital economic development tools," its antecedent is unclear; logically, the pronoun refers to the "tax breaks," but based on its position in the sentence (near the plural noun "businesses" and the first "them" which refers back to businesses) "them" here illogically refers to the
businesses.
(D) CORRECT. In placing "consider" at the beginning of the sentence, this choice is able to avoid a second use of the pronoun "them," thereby correcting the pronoun issue. It also correctly replaces "award to businesses" with the more idiomatic "award businesses."
(E) This choice avoids any pronoun ambiguity by replacing the second "them" in the original sentence with the phrase "tax breaks." However, the repetition of "tax breaks" (which is repeated again later in the sentence) makes this choice somewhat wordy.
More significant, the use of the phrase "to be" in this context is unidiomatic. The proper idiom is "consider x y" not "consider x to be y." In this case "consider tax breaks vital tools" is idiomatic, while "consider tax breaks to be vital tools" is not.

QUESTION: 2

Agatha Christie's travels with her archaeologist husband inspired her to write several mystery novels; travelers to Egypt can still stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, the model for the hotel inone of Christie's most famous books.

Solution:

This sentence has a pronoun agreement error. Subject and object pronouns cannot refer back to possessive nouns; they must refer only to subject and object nouns. The subject in this sentence is "Agatha Christie's travels," not Agatha Christie herself. The first instance of "her" is correct because this pronoun is used as a possessive: "her [Agatha Christie's] archaeologist husband." However, the second instance of "her," an
object pronoun, is incorrect: "inspired her [Agatha Christie, who is not an object in this sentence] to write..."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice illogically states that the travels inspired the novels themselves, rather than inspiring Christie to write the novels.
(C) This choice introduces a false cause-effect statement. The original meaning indicates that Christie traveled because her husband was an archaeologist.
According to this choice, however, Christie used their travels as inspiration because her husband was an archaeologist, which is clearly illogical.
(D) This choice seems to indicate that Christie and her husband were inspired to write the novels together. This cannot be the case because this choice also clearly states that they are "her mystery novels," not both of theirs.
(E) CORRECT. This choice corrects the original pronoun agreement error by moving the second instance of "her" in front of "mystery novels," which changes it from an object pronoun to a possessive pronoun: "Agatha Christie's travels...her [Agatha Christie's] mystery novels..."

QUESTION: 3

The United States Navy announced that, beginning next year, they plan to close several of their bases in order to reduce operating expenses.

Solution:

The subject of the sentence is "the United States Navy", which is singular. However, in the underlined portion, the Navy is incorrectly replaced by the plural pronouns "they" and "their."
(A) This choice is the same as the original sentence.
(B) This choice incorrectly uses the plural pronouns "they" and "their."
(C) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses "it" and "its" to refer to "the United States Navy."
(D) This choice incorrectly uses the plural pronouns "they" and "their."
(E) This choice incorrectly uses the plural pronoun "their" though it does correctly use the singular pronoun "it."

QUESTION: 4

Created in 1731, Anders Celsius’ original thermometer had a scale where the value of 0corresponded to the boiling point of water; after he died in 1744 the scale was reversed to itspresent form.

Solution:

In the original sentence, the subject pronoun he cannot refer to the possessive noun Anders Celsius’ (note the apostrophe). Possessive nouns such as Anders Celsius' may only be the antecedents of possessive pronouns, such as his. Further, the use of the relative pronoun where to describe the scale is incorrect since the pronoun where can refer only to physical locations.
(A) This answer choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) CORRECT. This answer choice corrects the original pronoun issue by replacing the subject pronoun he with the possessive pronoun his, which can legally refer to the possessive noun Anders Celsius’. Furthermore, the relative pronoun which in the phrase in which correctly refers to the immediately preceding noun a scale.
(C) By using the relative pronoun which in place of where, this answer choice corrects one of the two pronoun problems in the original sentence. However, the subject pronoun he cannot refer to the possessive noun Anders Celsius’.
(D) In this answer choice, the semicolon is used incorrectly to connect two clauses, only one of which can stand alone. Specifically, the phrase reversing the scale to its present form after his death in 1744 is not an independent clause and cannot follow the semicolon.
(E) In this answer choice, the use of the relative pronoun where to describe the scale is incorrect since this pronoun can refer only to physical locations. Furthermore, by replacing the original passive construction was reversed with the active form reversed, this answer choice illogically suggests that "a scale” changed itself rather
than was changed by others. While the active form is more concise, the use of the passive construction in this case is warranted by the original content of the sentence.

QUESTION: 5

The lawyers for the patent holder pressed the federal judge to impose an injunction againstthe hardware manufacturer, arguing that they should take immediate action in order toprevent further economic damages against their client.

Solution:

The original sentence is problematic in a number of ways. First, its use of the pronoun “they” is incorrect in the first instance. The first “they” should refer to the federal judge, who is singular. Hence, the use of the plural pronoun “they” is incorrect, particularly when viewed in conjunction with the second pronoun “their” which correctly refers to the lawyers. Also, the sentence is unnecessarily wordy, with “in order to” detracting from the sentence’s conciseness. “Damages against their client” is unidiomatic.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This answer choice corrects the pronoun issue. However, this sentence is even more unnecessarily wordy and awkward, replacing “economic damages” with “damages of an economic nature.” Also, “the client” is an awkward use of the article “the” given that “the client” refers to the patent holder, which appears in the sentence.
(C) The sentence incorrectly retains the first “they” pronoun error, though it omits the use of the second “their.” Also, “the client” is an awkward use of the article “the” given that “the client” refers to the patent holder, which appears in the sentence.
(D) This choice’s use of “them” incorrectly suggests that the lawyers are to be protected from economic harm rather than their client, the patent holder.
(E) CORRECT. This sentence remedies the pronoun issue, and uses “their” correctly in the second part of the sentence. It is also clear and concise.

QUESTION: 6

In the small, closed Bedouin world, in which secrets are hard to keep, there is the danger ofstigmatizing a carrier and their families, subsequently lowering their chances for marriageshould word get out that a genetic disease runs in her family.

Solution:

The original sentence contains pronoun agreement inconsistencies. Both uses of the plural “their” refer to the singular “carrier.” The pronouns must be changed to singular because of the presence of “her family” in the non-underlined section, since any non-underlined portions of the sentence are correct.
(A) Incorrect, as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) CORRECT. The pronouns that refer to “carrier” are all singular -- each “their” is now “her.” These "her's" agree with the singular “carrier” as well as with the “her" in the non-underlined section at the end of the sentence.
(C) This choice corrects the pronoun agreement error. The pronouns that refer to “carrier” are all singular -- each “their” is now “her.” These "her's" agree with the singular “carrier” as well as with the “her" in the non-underlined section at the end of the sentence. However, “which” is incorrect; “which” relative clauses describe the noun immediately before them, but "which secrets are hard to keep" in this case logically should not be referring to "Bedouin world." In this sentence, "in which" would be correct usage.
(D) This choice corrects the pronoun agreement error. The pronouns that refer to “carrier” are all singular -- each “their” is now “her." These "her's" agree with the singular “carrier” as well as with the “her" in the non-underlined section at the end of the sentence. However, “families” does not agree with “family” in the non-underlined
section, as it must.
(E) In this choice, “carriers” and each “their” agree, as they are all plural. However, the plural noun and pronouns do not agree with “her family” in the non-underlined section at the end of the sentence. Also, "which" is incorrect; "in which" would be correct.

QUESTION: 7

Used by many natural history museum curators in the preparation of animal skeletons fordisplay, dermestid beetles feed on the decaying flesh of animal carcasses, pulling with itsmouthparts to strip the bone of any residual fat or muscle tissue.

Solution:

The plural subject in the original sentence, “dermestid beetles,” does not agree in number with the singular pronoun “its,” which appears in the non-underlined part of the sentence. In order to correctly agree with “its,” the subject must be singular: “the dermestid beetle.”
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The plural subject “dermestid beetles” does not agree in number with the singular pronoun “its,” which appears in the non-underlined part of the sentence. In order to correctly agree with “its,” the subject must be singular: “the dermestid beetle.” Also, the present tense verb “pull” is incorrectly consistent with the present tense verb
“feed.” In this case, verb consistency is undesirable as it separates “feed” and “pull” into two independent and sequential actions: the beetles “feed on the decaying flesh” and “pull with…mouthparts.” The logical meaning of the sentence, as dictated by the original version, is that the “pulling” occurs as part of the main verb “feed,” not
independent of it.
(C) While the singular subject “the dermestid beetle” correctly agrees in number with the singular pronoun “its,” the present tense verb “pulls” is incorrectly consistent with the present tense verb “feeds.” In this case, verb consistency is undesirable as it separates “feeds” and “pulls” into two independent and sequential actions: the beetle “feeds on the decaying flesh” and “pulls with…mouthparts.” The logical meaning of the sentence, as dictated by the original version, is that the “pulling” occurs as part of the main verb “feeds,” not independent of it.
(D) CORRECT. The singular subject “the dermestid beetle” correctly agrees in number with the singular pronoun “its.” Also, the form “pulling” correctly implies that “pulling with its mouthparts” occurs as part of the main verb “feeds,” not independent of it.
(E) The singular subject “the dermestid beetle” correctly agrees in number with the
singular pronoun “its.” However, the present tense verb “pulls” is incorrectly consistent with the present tense verb “feeds.” In this case, verb consistency is undesirable as it separates “feeds” and “pulls” into two independent and sequential actions: the beetle “feeds on the decaying flesh” and “pulls with…mouthparts.” The logical meaning of the sentence, as dictated by the original version, is that the “pulling” occurs as part of the main verb “feeds,” not independent of it. Also, the use of the pronoun “it” is unnecessarily wordy; the subject of the verb “pulls,” “the
dermestid beetle,” is clear without of the use of “it.”

QUESTION: 8

Named for the capital of Belgium, Brussels sprouts, which at its fullest growth scarcelyexceeds a large walnut in size, are immature buds shaped like tiny cabbages.

Solution:

The modifier "which at its fullest growth scarcely exceeds . . ." contains two words--
the singular pronoun "its" and the singular verb "exceeds"--that suggest that the subject of the modifier is singular. Both of these words are incorrect since the subject of this modifier is actually the plural noun "Brussels sprouts."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice incorrectly uses the singular pronoun "its" to refer to the plural noun "Brussels sprouts."
(C) In this choice, the singular verb "exceeds" does not agree with the plural pronoun "their" (which refers to the plural subject "Brussels sprouts").
(D) The plural pronoun "their" and the plural verb "exceed" correctly refer to the plural noun "Brussels sprouts." However, the use of the phrase "scarcely exceed a walnut's large size" distorts the meaning of the original phrase "scarcely exceeds a large walnut in size." In the original, it is clear that the comparison is between the size of a
Brussels Sprout and the size of a large walnut. In this choice, the comparison is changed to one between the size of a Brussels sprout and the size of any walnut, all of which, according to this choice, are large.
(E) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the plural pronoun "their" and the plural verb "exceed" to refer to the plural noun "Brussels sprouts."

QUESTION: 9

In their most recent press release, the new management stated that they plan to expand into the global software market via a series of acquisitions in Asia and Latin America.

Solution:

The original sentence uses the incorrect plural pronoun “their” to refer to the singular noun “management.” Similarly, the second plural pronoun “they” is also inconsistent with its singular antecedent “management.”
(A) This answer choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This answer choice corrects one of the original pronoun errors by changing the plural pronoun "their" to the singular pronoun "its," but fails to correct the second pronoun problem, retaining the plural pronoun “they,” which is inconsistent with the singular noun “management.”
(C) This answer choice uses the unidiomatic construction “to plan on” rather than the correct idiom “to plan to.”
(D) CORRECT. This answer choice correctly uses the singular pronoun "its" to refer to the singular noun "management," and eliminates the use of the incorrect plural pronoun "they."
(E) In this answer choice, the plural pronoun “their" does not agree with the singular noun “management.”

QUESTION: 10

Although Moliere's satirical play Tartuffe was condemned by his contemporaries, he is nowconsidered the writer of one of the most famous French plays of all time.

Solution:

The subject of the initial clause is the "play," which must therefore be the subject of the main part of the sentence (after the comma). The correct pronoun to use to refer to an inanimate thing is "it" rather than "he."
(A) This answer is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) CORRECT. This choice correctly uses the pronoun "it" to refer to the inanimate thing "play."
(C) This choice incorrectly uses the pronoun "he" to refer to the inanimate thing "play." In addition, the correct idiom is "considered X" rather than "considered to be X." Finally, the phrase "resulted in condemnation by contemporaries" is awkward compared with the original sentence, and does not make clear exactly what or who (is it the play or the person?) is being condemned.
(D) This choice correctly uses the pronoun "it" to refer to the inanimate thing "play" but introduces the object pronoun "him" which cannot refer to a possessive noun. Logically, the pronoun "him" should refer to Moliere but Moliere is not in the sentence; only "Moliere's satirical play" is in the sentence. In addition, the correct idiom is
"considered X" rather than "considered to be X." Finally, the phrase "resulted in condemnation of him by contemporaries" is awkward and wordy compared with the original sentence, and also changes its meaning by asserting that the person, rather than the play, was condemned.
(E) This choice correctly uses the pronoun "it" to refer to the inanimate thing "play" but introduces the object pronoun "him" which cannot refer to a possessive noun. Logically, the pronoun "him" should refer to Moliere but Moliere is not in the sentence; only "Moliere's satirical play" is in the sentence. Finally, the sentence seems to
suggest that the play did the actual condemning.

QUESTION: 11

The artwork of Vincent Van Gogh, mostly paintings executed in bright colors with loose,expressive brushstrokes and drawings done in pen and ink, will be shown for the first time inminor museums where they can be appreciated by people who a trip to a major city may betoo expensive for.

Solution:

The antecedent of the pronoun "they" is "artwork". But "they" is plural and "artwork" singular, so we need to find a choice that changes "they" to "it". Moreover, "people who a trip to a major city may be too expensive for" is incorrect. It should be "people for whom..."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The pronoun "they" is incorrect, as is the construction "people who a trip to a major city may be too expensive for."
(C) The construction "people who a trip to a major city may be too expensive for" is incorrect.
(D) CORRECT. The pronoun "it" correctly refers to the singular antecedent "artwork" and "for whom a trip to a major city may be too expensive" is the correct modifier of people.
(E) The pronoun "it" is correct, but the construction "people who a trip to a major city may be too expensive for" is not.

QUESTION: 12

One of the important functions of the United Nations is to decide if they should recognize thelegitimacy of a new government that assumed power through violence.

Solution:

In the original sentence, the plural pronoun “they” has no clear antecedent. It is trying to refer to the United Nations, which is a singular noun. Additionally, on the GMAT, “if” is used for a conditional idea, while “whether” is used for an alternative or possibility. In this sentence, the United Nations is choosing between two possibilities: either it will recognize the legitimacy of a new government or it will not. Thus, “whether” is the appropriate word.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) CORRECT. This choice correctly resolves the pronoun issue, and is the only answer choice that avoids serious problems.
(C) The use of “deciding” as opposed to the infinitive “decide” is appropriate, but this sentence incorrectly separates the modifier “that assumed power through violence” from the modified noun “government,” making this choice awkward and incorrect.
(D) In this choice, “if” is incorrectly used to distinguish between alternatives. Furthermore the non-restrictive relative pronoun “which” is used to introduce a restrictive clause. Because the clause “that assumed power through violence” is essential to the meaning of the sentence, “that” must introduce the clause. Conversely, “which” is used to introduce nonessential elements.
(E) In this choice, the pronoun “they” has no clear antecedent, since the United Nations is a singular entity.

QUESTION: 13

Last year, the State Assembly failed to pass a balanced budget because they could not agree on certain key provisions.

Solution:

The original sentence contains a pronoun error. The pronoun "they" requires a plural antecedent though there is none in the sentence; "State Assembly" is singular and "they" cannot be used to refer to the politicians collectively since they were not mentioned in the sentence.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The pronoun "they" is incorrect here because there is no plural antecedent. Moreover, the phrase "agree about" is unidiomatic; "agree on" should be used instead.
(C) The singular pronoun "it" correctly refers to the singular noun "the State Assembly." However, the phrase "agree about" is unidiomatic; "agree on" should be used instead.
(D) The use of "the Assemblymen" instead of "they" corrects the original pronoun problem by eliminating the pronoun "they" altogether. However, the phrase "agree about" is unidiomatic; "agree on" should be used instead.
(E) CORRECT. The use of "the Assemblymen" instead of "they" corrects the original pronoun problem by eliminating the pronoun "they" altogether.

QUESTION: 14

Though once powerful political forces, labor unions have lost much of their influence, which has resulted in a political climate that some analysts claim to favor management.

Solution:

Claim to/to be….
The original sentence contains several errors. First, the relative pronoun "which" cannot be used to modify the action of the preceding clause, as it does here ("which has resulted in..."). Instead, it must be used to modify the immediately preceding noun only. In this case, that noun is "influence," which cannot be described as resulting in a "political climate." It is the loss of that influence that has resulted in the "political climate" described in the sentence, not the influence itself.
Second, "that some analysts claim to favor management" is incorrect. If we remove "some analysts claim" from the sentence, we are left with "a political climate that...to favor management." This is incorrect. We need "to favor" to agree with "a political climate that."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) CORRECT. This choice corrects the relative pronoun error by replacing "which has resulted" with "resulting." Moreover, "favors" agrees with "a political climate that..."
(C) This choice does not correct the relative pronoun error. Moreover, it does not correct the verb error.
It replaces "to favor" with "that favors," creating the illogical sequence "a political climate that...that favors."
(D) This choice corrects the relative pronoun error by replacing "which has resulted" with "resulting." However, it does not correct the verb error.
It replaces "to favor" with "to be in favor of," creating the illogical sequence "a political climate that...to be in favor of."
(E) This choice does not correct the relative pronoun error. Moreover, it does not correct the verb error. It does not replace "to favor." Additionally, "has been claimed by some analysts" is unnecessarily in passive voice and is wordy.

QUESTION: 15

Law firms and other professional services groups, academic institutions, and research divisionsoften have informal talent marketplaces where senior employees strive to identify the bestemployees junior to them and the junior employees compete for the assignments that theyfind most attractive.

Solution:

This question uses the incorrect pronoun "where" to refer to "informal talent marketplaces." "Where" is used to refer to physical locations, but the "talent marketplaces" are a metaphorical construct, not an actual geographical location. In this case, "in which" is the appropriate construction.
The original answer choice also utilizes unnecessary turns of phrase in its use of “best employees junior to them,” as well as “assignments that they find most attractive,” both of which use excessive language and could be expressed more succinctly.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice correctly changes "where" to "in which" but incorrectly uses the conjunction “and” between the terms “strive” and “identify,” suggesting that the two terms denote two distinct activities, as opposed to the intended single activity of identifying the best junior employees. Also, “assignments that they find most
attractive” are unnecessarily wordy.
(C) This answer repeats the original pronoun error ("where").
(D) This choice incorrectly uses the conjunction “and” between the terms “strive” and “identify,” suggesting that the two terms denote two distinct activities, as opposed to the intended single activity of identifying the best junior employees.
(E) CORRECT This choice correctly changes "where" to "in which" and also rephrases the sentence more concisely ("best junior employees"; "most attractive assignments").

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