Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent : GMAT Sentence Correction (SC)
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# Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent

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Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2012, 13:42
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Question Stats:

70% (02:11) correct 30% (01:23) wrong based on 83 sessions

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Here's a question that confused me

The Supreme Court has ruled that public universities may collect student activity fees even with students' objections to particular activities, so long as the groups they give money to will be chosen without regard to their views.

(A) with students' objections to particular activities, so long as the groups they give money to will be
(B) if they have objections to particular activities and the groups that are given the money are
(C) if they object to particular activities, but the groups that the money is given to have to be
(D) from students who object to particular activities, so long as the groups given money are
(E) though students have an objection to particular activities, but the groups that are given the money be

How do I know that they in option B is not supposed to refer to public universities?

The OA is saying that they refers to "student fees" but when I read it, it seemed to me that it refers to Public Universities.

How can one not fall into such traps?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Lstadt on 08 Feb 2012, 11:23, edited 1 time in total.
If you have any questions
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2012, 22:55
The Supreme Court has ruled that public universities may collect student activity fees even with students' objections to particular activities, so long as the groups they give money to will be chosen without regard to their views.

(A) with students' objections to particular activities, so long as the groups they give money to will be-->they has two precedents .
(B) if they have objections to particular activities and the groups that are given the money are->they can refer to both public universities and students
(C) if they object to particular activities, but the groups that the money is given to have to be--> they is ambiguous
(D) from students who object to particular activities, so long as the groups given money are-->correct
(E) though students have an objection to particular activities, but the groups that are given the money be
-->very verbose .
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2012, 23:02
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@Lstadt One of the main issue that the gmat tests in sentence correction is the pronoun error.We must select only the option in which there is no confusion regarding the antecedent of the pronoun ,that is the noun which the pronoun refers to .
In the question at hand ,they can refer to two nouns .Hence we must straight away mark the option as wrong .Hope i am a bit clear in my explanation .
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2012, 00:11
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here the answer is D. The phrase "collect fees " should follow "from" which whom it is collected. We can ignore answer choice B as it contains "They" which doesn't have a clear referent. You thought they refers to fees but OG says universities. So you should ignore answer choices which contains some pronouns for which they aren't any clear referents.
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2012, 00:59
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This is where meaning and logic become apparently critical deciders. The following things must be clear in our minds.
1. Universities receive the fees from students
2. Those paying students are privileged to object to the allocation of such collected funds.
3. In B and C, they may structurally refer to the Universities because Universities is the subject. However, in context and meaning they have no right to object. So and C drop out

4. Even granting that the pronoun they refers to the fees as described by OG , isn’t it absurd to say the fees object? Therefore, B and C have no chance whether they refer to universities or the fees. They cannot refer to anything other than students. Unfortunately, a direct referent to they alluding to students is missing in A B and C.

5. D avoids the subject pronoun altogether and saves the situation

6. E does not make clear whether the students who object are the same who pay or it is the whole body of university students. Some muddled meaning here. In addition , the use of indicative mood verb in first part(have an objection )and subjunctive mood verb(the groups that are given the money be) in next part distorts parallelism

This question is an important and relevant concept of clarity and concision, IMO.
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2012, 11:28
Thank you every one especially daagh It's much clearer now but more explanations and tricks are welcomed.
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2013, 01:27
daagh wrote:
This is where meaning and logic become apparently critical deciders. The following things must be clear in our minds.
1. Universities receive the fees from students
2. Those paying students are privileged to object to the allocation of such collected funds.
3. In B and C, they may structurally refer to the Universities because Universities is the subject. However, in context and meaning they have no right to object. So and C drop out

4. Even granting that the pronoun they refers to the fees as described by OG , isn’t it absurd to say the fees object? Therefore, B and C have no chance whether they refer to universities or the fees. They cannot refer to anything other than students. Unfortunately, a direct referent to they alluding to students is missing in A B and C.

5. D avoids the subject pronoun altogether and saves the situation

6. E does not make clear whether the students who object are the same who pay or it is the whole body of university students. Some muddled meaning here. In addition , the use of indicative mood verb in first part(have an objection )and subjunctive mood verb(the groups that are given the money be) in next part distorts parallelism

This question is an important and relevant concept of clarity and concision, IMO.

Since I am not a native speaker, I have quite a hard time understanding the wording "the groups given money are chosen", the subject is the groups, but what is "given money" . I expected something like "the groups to whom the money was given..." Please correct me...

Moreover I didn't know the idiom "so long as", is it equivalent to "as long as"???
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2013, 01:39
trivellato wrote:
daagh wrote:
This is where meaning and logic become apparently critical deciders. The following things must be clear in our minds.
1. Universities receive the fees from students
2. Those paying students are privileged to object to the allocation of such collected funds.
3. In B and C, they may structurally refer to the Universities because Universities is the subject. However, in context and meaning they have no right to object. So and C drop out

4. Even granting that the pronoun they refers to the fees as described by OG , isn’t it absurd to say the fees object? Therefore, B and C have no chance whether they refer to universities or the fees. They cannot refer to anything other than students. Unfortunately, a direct referent to they alluding to students is missing in A B and C.

5. D avoids the subject pronoun altogether and saves the situation

6. E does not make clear whether the students who object are the same who pay or it is the whole body of university students. Some muddled meaning here. In addition , the use of indicative mood verb in first part(have an objection )and subjunctive mood verb(the groups that are given the money be) in next part distorts parallelism

This question is an important and relevant concept of clarity and concision, IMO.

Since I am not a native speaker, I have quite a hard time understanding the wording "the groups given money are chosen", the subject is the groups, but what is "given money" . I expected something like "the groups to whom the money was given..." Please correct me...

Moreover I didn't know the idiom "so long as", is it equivalent to "as long as"???

I discovered attributive verb. Better late than ever!!!
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2013, 05:49
The use of "So long as" is confusing. I crossed out A and D instantly. I thought "as long as" is appropriate idiom here.
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Re: Having a very tough time connecting pronouns with antecedent   [#permalink] 01 Oct 2013, 05:49
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