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A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses

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Manager
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A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2013, 11:32
A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses to discourage poachers; the question is whether tourists will continue to visit game parks and see rhinoceroses after their horns are trimmed.


I know I will get it right most of the times, since their to me seems awkward, but if I go by what I learnt in e-gmat lectures, ambiguity of pronouns can be checked by indentifying the intended meaning. So whats the exception here? their horns so their can refer only to horns.
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Re: A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2013, 08:01
Expert's post
You're right about the horns part. However, the ambiguity here is not whether the reference is to horns but whose horns. Are the tourists or the rhinoceroses having horns removed?

It seems obvious given what we know about tourists and rhinos generally, but it's not clear from the structure of the sentence.
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Re: A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2013, 14:10
Expert's post
Hi there,

Thanks for posting your query here. :-)

As the previous poster has pointed out, 'their' does not refer to 'horns', but to either tourists or rhinoceroses. Although common sense may tell us that the rhinoceroses are more likely to have horns than the tourists are, the sentence should contain no ambiguity.

Also, note that when a pronoun begins a clause, it usually refers to the subject of the previous clause. In this case, 'tourists' is the subject of the preceding clause. This only worsens the problem in this option, since 'their' seems to be pointing to 'tourists'.

I hope this helps to clarify your doubt!

Regards,
Meghna
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Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 127
Location: United States
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Operations
Schools: ISB '15
GMAT 1: 590 Q48 V23
GPA: 3.9
WE: Operations (Manufacturing)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 45

Re: A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2013, 20:02
egmat wrote:
Hi there,

Thanks for posting your query here. :-)

As the previous poster has pointed out, 'their' does not refer to 'horns', but to either tourists or rhinoceroses. Although common sense may tell us that the rhinoceroses are more likely to have horns than the tourists are, the sentence should contain no ambiguity.

Also, note that when a pronoun begins a clause, it usually refers to the subject of the previous clause. In this case, 'tourists' is the subject of the preceding clause. This only worsens the problem in this option, since 'their' seems to be pointing to 'tourists'.

I hope this helps to clarify your doubt!

Regards,
Meghna


Okay new funda it is. Even if logical meaning may clear the pronoun reference but grammatically its wrong here as pronoun is referring to some other subject.

Thanks :)
Re: A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2013, 20:02
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A proposal has been made to trim the horns from rhinoceroses

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