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Can 'they' only refer to person/groups

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Senior Manager
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Can 'they' only refer to person/groups [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 11:34
Hi i have a small doubt ...Let me paste an example for the same

Recent psychological studies indicate that if children associate with and play with other children, they will experience fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than children that lead relatively isolated lives.

(A) play with other children, they will experience fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than

(B) play with other children, they experience fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than do

(C) played with other children, they experienced fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than will

(D) play with other children, they will experience fewer psychological problems and develop more quickly socially than do

(E) played with other children, they have experienced fewer psychological problems and have developed more quickly socially than do




Doubt ; here "they" is available in every choice ; i thought "they" will refer to the subject of the sentence (in this case "Studies") isnt it ambiguous ??

isn't that right ??

Probably it wud have mad more sense if the sentence was : "Recent psychological study indicates............"

please explain.

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Re: Can 'they' only refer to person/groups [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 11:43
stallone wrote:
Hi i have a small doubt ...Let me paste an example for the same

Recent psychological studies indicate that if children associate with and play with other children, they will experience fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than children that lead relatively isolated lives.

(A) play with other children, they will experience fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than

(B) play with other children, they experience fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than do

(C) played with other children, they experienced fewer psychological problems and develop quicker socially than will

(D) play with other children, they will experience fewer psychological problems and develop more quickly socially than do

(E) played with other children, they have experienced fewer psychological problems and have developed more quickly socially than do




Doubt ; here "they" is available in every choice ; i thought "they" will refer to the subject of the sentence (in this case "Studies") isnt it ambiguous ??

isn't that right ??

Probably it wud have mad more sense if the sentence was : "Recent psychological study indicates............"

please explain.


when every answer choice repeats what we generally consider an error, then we are being tested on something else. ( i know this is obvious, but this used to confuse me a lot in the beginning).

How I understand this example:
In this example, logically speaking studies do not/cannot experience psychological problems. So they is referring to students.
_________________

"You have to find it. No one else can find it for you." - Bjorn Borg

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 290

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Re: Can 'they' only refer to person/groups [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 12:37
thanks for the reply ; actually that is how i did ,but
my concern here is whether m right in my reasoning or not ?

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Re: Can 'they' only refer to person/groups [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2008, 13:07
Hi stallone,

I may not be hundred percent accurate but I will try – It is one of Grammar 101s.


That – can act as 1. Subordinate conjunction or act as a start of the modifier phrase or triggers subjunctive.

If – a classical subordinate conjunction or introduces hypothetical element


In our case If clause is embedded in the Main “that” clause and because of that it’s not seeing outside “studies”

I hope this help!

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Re: Can 'they' only refer to person/groups   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2008, 13:07
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