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For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official

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Manager
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Joined: 11 Jun 2018
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2019, 08:28
Hi GMATNinja is it okay to reject E, because 'it' has no clear referent?
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 04:25
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Manat wrote:
Hi GMATNinja is it okay to reject E, because 'it' has no clear referent?

In general, you want to try to avoid eliminating an answer choice solely because a pronoun is ambiguous, since pronoun ambiguity is not an absolute rule. (More on that in this video.) But if a pronoun has no logical referent at all, then you can eliminate that answer choice with confidence.

Take another look at (E): "For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are officially a minority in California amounting to a little less than half the population of the state, down from what it was a decade ago by nearly three-quarters." First, "it" seems to refer to the noun phrase "half the population." If we substitute the referent in place of the pronoun, we get the notion that half the population is down from what half the population was a decade ago. That makes no sense.

Even worse, if we argue that "it" refers to the "population," the meaning seems to be that the non-Hispanic white population was reduced by three-quarters. The author isn't saying that 75% of the white population was wiped out! Rather, we want to communicate the idea that the fraction of the population comprised by non-Hispanic Whites went from three quarters to a little less than a half, as (D) suggests.

Takeaway: it's not necessarily a crime to have an ambiguous pronoun, but there has to be something the pronoun can logically refer to. If there isn't, we can confidently eliminate the option in question.

I hope that helps!
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 03:13
I do not agree that in choice A, "which" modifies "california" and so, is wrong. in many og question, 'which" can jump over a noun modifier to modify a far noun. so, "which' can jump over "in california" to modify "minority". this is good

why is choice A wrong? pls help
thanks
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Re: For the first time in the modern era, non-Hispanic Whites are official   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2019, 03:13

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