GMAT Pronouns

Apparently, GMAT sentence correction accounts for ~40% of questions on the GMAT Exam Verbal Section. So, expect anywhere between 12-14 questions pertaining to sentence correction. From what I have explored till now, this has turned out to be a real challenge. GMAT Pronouns blog deals with understanding pronouns in detail along the lines of where and how to use them. This will help in identifying noun-pronoun related errors easily.

Pronoun Rules

Like the subject-verb pair, we have the noun-pronoun pair. Instead of repeating the nouns in different clauses, one can use a pronoun to refer back to the noun. This results in a more concise statement. Repetition of nouns is not an error but is not the preferred way to write. GMAT Pronoun rules are about conciseness and errors while using pronouns.

  • Antecedent: Antecedent is the noun corresponding to the specific pronoun. e.g. Rahul visited Delhi to meet his mother. In this case, his is the pronoun and the antecedent is the noun: Rahul.
  • Pronoun Reference: A pronoun should always refer to a noun and not a verb or even an adjective for that matter. e.g.
  • Pronoun Ambiguity: A sentence with no clarify over the antecedent for the specific pronoun will result in ambiguous meaning and thereby a wrong usage of pronoun. The clear statement will use the noun entity directly to clarify the usage.
  • Noun-Pronoun Agreement: The noun and the pronoun need to agree on the numeric aspect as well. A singular noun should be referred to by singular pronoun and a plural one by plural.
  • Who/it/whose: Who/whom is used to refer to people, it and which to things. Whose can be used for either. This alignment is critical to get right as well.
  • Where: It is not a pronoun and thereby the rules of usage don’t apply to it.

To be continued …