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Pronoun Ambiguity doubt

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Pronoun Ambiguity doubt [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2017, 00:03
1
I was going through Manhattan SC Guide (Pronoun Ambiguity) and got confused.

Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which THEY allege give THEM the strength of cast iron.


What nouns do they and them refer to? You might assume that they refers to researchers (who claim
something) and that them refers to new “nano-papers? However, this confusing switch of reference is
not permitted by the GMAT.
Resolve the confusion by recasting the sentence. One solution is to eliminate they and them altogether.
Right: Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating
tiny cellulose fibers, which give THESE MATERIALS the strength of cast
iron, according to the researchers.

If the intended antecedent of a single pronoun is clear (e.g., by virtue of parallelism and meaning), and
if there is no other reasonable antecedent, then don’t worry if there is an unreasonable antecedent somewhere
else in the sentence.
Right: Supernovas destroy their immediate environments in vast explosions, but by synthesizing
heavy chemical elements, THEY provide the universe with the possibility
of biochemistry-based life as we know it.


My doubt is even in the sentence Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which THEY allege give THEM the strength of cast iron.


clearly researchers can only allege (nano papers or fibres cant allege)
them might be ambiguous.

If we make the sentence as Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which they allege give the nanopapers the strength of cast iron.
Is it correct ??
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity doubt [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2017, 09:50
1
sakshamgmat wrote:
I was going through Manhattan SC Guide (Pronoun Ambiguity) and got confused.

Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which THEY allege give THEM the strength of cast iron.


What nouns do they and them refer to? You might assume that they refers to researchers (who claim
something) and that them refers to new “nano-papers? However, this confusing switch of reference is
not permitted by the GMAT.
Resolve the confusion by recasting the sentence. One solution is to eliminate they and them altogether.
Right: Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating
tiny cellulose fibers, which give THESE MATERIALS the strength of cast
iron, according to the researchers.

If the intended antecedent of a single pronoun is clear (e.g., by virtue of parallelism and meaning), and
if there is no other reasonable antecedent, then don’t worry if there is an unreasonable antecedent somewhere
else in the sentence.
Right: Supernovas destroy their immediate environments in vast explosions, but by synthesizing
heavy chemical elements, THEY provide the universe with the possibility
of biochemistry-based life as we know it.


My doubt is even in the sentence Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which THEY allege give THEM the strength of cast iron.


clearly researchers can only allege (nano papers or fibres cant allege)
them might be ambiguous.

If we make the sentence as Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which they allege give the nanopapers the strength of cast iron.
Is it correct ??


Here is the thing about Pronoun ambiguity - you have to be tolerant toward it on the GMAT. Rules governing pronoun ambiguity are not as strict as other rules. Hence, whether a particular usage is acceptable depends on the other four options. If they have definite grammatical errors, the pronoun ambiguity can be overlooked.

In the sentence:
Researchers claim to have developed new "nano-papers" incorporating tiny
cellulose fibers, which they allege give the nanopapers the strength of cast iron.

"they" would refer to the researchers only, the subject of the previous clause. Also it is logically clear that only researchers can allege. Hence the pronoun usage in this sentence could be considered correct.

For a write up on this, check: https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2016/0 ... -the-gmat/
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity doubt   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2017, 09:50
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