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# Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources

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Manager
Joined: 27 Mar 2017
Posts: 202
Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources  [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2019, 02:20
Hi,

I am conflicted by the pronoun ambiguity examples provided by e-gmat and MGMAT (or is it just me ?) !

Referring to the thread here one of the examples mentioned by Payal from e-gmat is

iv. The White Tiger is nicknamed “the Lightning” because it moves very quickly.

The pronoun “it” is ambiguous in its usage. It is not clear if “it” refers to “White Tiger” or “Lightning”. Observe that both the following sentences make perfect sense.

a. The White Tiger is nicknamed “the Lightning” because the white tiger moves very quickly.
b. The White Tiger is nicknamed “the Lightning” because lightning moves very quickly.

So there is a pronoun usage error in this sentence.

Where as in MGMAT the following example is cited,

"Although the term "supercomputer" may sound fanciful or exaggerated, IT is simply an extremely fast mainframe that can execute trillions of calculations every second."

According to MGMAT, 'IT' can not refer to 'term "supercomputer"' since it doesn't make sense.

Doesn't same logic hold true for eGmat example ? It is mentioned clearly that the White Tiger is 'nicknamed "the Lightning"' which means there is no ambiguity regarding what 'it' can refer to.

Doesn't logical meaning make a big part of what antecedent a pronoun can refer to ?

What am I missing ?

Thanks.
SVP
Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 1991
Location: India
Schools: ISB
GPA: 3.31
Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources  [#permalink]

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26 May 2020, 05:41
1

iv. The White Tiger is nicknamed “the Lightning” because it moves very quickly.

The pronoun “it” is ambiguous in its usage. It is not clear if “it” refers to “White Tiger” or “Lightning”. Observe that both the following sentences make perfect sense.

a. The White Tiger is nicknamed “the Lightning” because the white tiger moves very quickly.
b. The White Tiger is nicknamed “the Lightning” because lightning moves very quickly.

So there is a pronoun usage error in this sentence.

As you have rightly pointed out, the pronoun it is ambiguous here. It is normally suggested that options using ambiguous pronouns should not be immediately categorized as wrong.

Quote:
Where as in MGMAT the following example is cited,

"Although the term "supercomputer" may sound fanciful or exaggerated, IT is simply an extremely fast mainframe that can execute trillions of calculations every second."

According to MGMAT, 'IT' can not refer to 'term "supercomputer"' since it doesn't make sense.

Yes, but this sentence is wrong for a completely different reason; the pronoun it is not really an ambiguous pronoun here, since it has only one antecedent: term "supercomputer".

The problem here is logic: the term itself cannot be an extremely fast mainframe.
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Ashish
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Manager
Joined: 27 Mar 2017
Posts: 202
Re: Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources  [#permalink]

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14 Jun 2019, 21:16
Intern
Joined: 28 Dec 2017
Posts: 26
Re: Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources  [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2020, 17:04
Senior Manager
Joined: 31 Jan 2020
Posts: 297
Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources  [#permalink]

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25 Mar 2020, 20:28
"Although the term "supercomputer" may sound fanciful or exaggerated, IT is simply an extremely fast mainframe that can execute trillions of calculations every second."

According to MGMAT, 'IT' can not refer to 'term "supercomputer"' since it doesn't make sense.

I daresay the MGMAT point is simply saying, very literally, that a TERM cannot be a MAINFRAME.
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Intern
Joined: 04 Jul 2017
Posts: 4
Re: Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources  [#permalink]

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26 May 2020, 00:45
Re: Pronoun Ambiguity - Conflicting Resources   [#permalink] 26 May 2020, 00:45