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# Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal)

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Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 12:11
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Question Stats:

63% (01:48) correct 37% (00:57) wrong based on 481 sessions

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Question: Sulfur dioxide, a major contributor to acid rain, is an especially serious pollutant because it diminishes the respiratory system's ability to deal with all other pollutants.
A. an especially serious pollutant because it diminishes the respiratory system’s ability to deal
B. an especially serious pollutant because of diminishing the respiratory system’s capability of dealing
C. an especially serious pollutant because it diminishes the capability of the respiratory system in dealing
D. a specially serious pollutant because it diminishes the capability of the respiratory system to deal
E. a specially serious pollutant because of diminishing the respiratory system’s ability to deal

[Reveal] Spoiler:
A

Determine whether a PRONOUN is ambiguous or not? (by the 'Ron Purewal')

Note: The content/knowledge was not produced by me; it was merely assimilated from Ron's sessions. ( Please visit http://www.manhattangmat.com/thursdays-with-ron.cfm for more such lessons). I have just compiled various notes , for my convenience,from his videos. (I am just playing a plagiarist).

Ambiguous Pronoun :

(As explained by Aristotle SC grail) Sometimes, a sentence is structured in a way that a pronoun can refer to more than one noun, and as a result the reader is confused about the author‘s intentions - what the pronoun is referring to.

John encouraged Jerry to start a pest control business
because he felt that the residents of the city would be
willing to pay for the same.

Who does 'he‘ refer to, John or Jerry?

John encouraged Jerry to start a pest control business
because John felt that the residents of the city would be
willing to pay for the same.

In this session(please see the attachment), Ron stated that Pronoun ambiguity is NOT an "absolute" rule. He further explained how to determine whether a pronoun is ambiguous or not.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Attachments

Pronoun Ambiguity (by Ron Purewal).docx [423.2 KiB]

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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 12:18
Hi Goutamread, pls post more such posts like these. Interesting theory.
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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07 Jan 2013, 13:53
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MunniB wrote:
Hi Goutamread, pls post more such posts like these. Interesting theory.

if you want to see all the study hall go here

http://www.manhattangmat.com/thursdays-with-ron.cfm

though the docx is useful
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2013, 22:25
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Why we've discarded E...? it's grammatically and logically fine I believe and more concise as compared to A.

Experts, can you please step in to clarify it.
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 07:34
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debayan222 wrote:
Why we've discarded E...? it's grammatically and logically fine I believe and more concise as compared to A.

E is incorrect :

1) Incorrect idiom : Because of VERBing (Correct Idiom: Because of Noun [OR] Because Clause)

2) Other issue in the problem:
* ESPECIALLY vs. SPECIALLY
“especially” = “to an unusually high degree” or “more so than comparable things”
These paintings are all attractive, but that one is especially attractive because of its use of chiaroscuro .
“specially” = "done in a special manner"
This dish, which is not on the normal menu, was specially prepared for our guest.
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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18 Jan 2013, 10:35
debayan222 wrote:
Why we've discarded E...? it's grammatically and logically fine I believe and more concise as compared to A.

E is incorrect :

1) Incorrect idiom : Because of VERBing (Correct Idiom: Because of Noun [OR] Because Clause)

2) Other issue in the problem:
* ESPECIALLY vs. SPECIALLY
“especially” = “to an unusually high degree” or “more so than comparable things”
These paintings are all attractive, but that one is especially attractive because of its use of chiaroscuro .
“specially” = "done in a special manner"
This dish, which is not on the normal menu, was specially prepared for our guest.

Ah! right you're my friend..!
I just overlooked the single letter 'e'..

Anyways, thanks for pointing it out.
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2014, 06:54
Hi,
Kindly help, whats wrong with D.
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2014, 12:34
Can you provide me Official questions on "pronoun ambiguity" ?
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2014, 10:27
Hi. I am not sure but isn't "respiratory system's " in the option A is wrong because we cannot use possessive case with non-living things. I personally have never seen a possessive case with organs. Do give back a reply.
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2014, 13:12
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Expert's post
Hi. I am not sure but isn't "respiratory system's " in the option A is wrong because we cannot use possessive case with non-living things. I personally have never seen a possessive case with organs. Do give back a reply.

Interesting point. Though it might seem strange, using a possessive with inanimate objects (non-living things), is perfectly fine grammatically (and logically). Something doesn't have to be a person to possess things. A car's weight, a tree's color, India's various climates, etc.

KW
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Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2014, 00:39
KyleWiddison wrote:
Hi. I am not sure but isn't "respiratory system's " in the option A is wrong because we cannot use possessive case with non-living things. I personally have never seen a possessive case with organs. Do give back a reply.

Interesting point. Though it might seem strange, using a possessive with inanimate objects (non-living things), is perfectly fine grammatically (and logically). Something doesn't have to be a person to possess things. A car's weight, a tree's color, India's various climates, etc.

KW

As far as I have read in one or two grammar books that it is wrong to use possessive form of inanimate objects. But as I have studied English according to British standard and not the American one, it might be true what you are saying. Some of the forums (wordreference) also say it's wrong to use possessive case with inanimate objects. Although, we can use possessive case with inanimate things in case of Personification(According to grammar books). PS: a tree's color seems absolutely fine as tree is not considered inanimate. But i have never heard the expression "a car's weight" which is usually written as "weight of the car".
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2014, 07:01
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Expert's post
From an English grammar standpoint I can say there is not a hard and fast rule about not using a possessive with inanimate objects. There is certainly evidence that there is a preference toward avoiding possessives with inanimate objects but reputable grammar books allow for this usage and there are plenty of examples out there where possessives are used with inanimate objects.

I haven't seen this issue come up on the GMAT. If anyone has I would be interested to know about it.

KW

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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2015, 01:48
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2015, 06:40
I saw this video of Ron on vimeo , and the very first thing that came in my mind was why are we even talking about pronoun ambiguity in this sentence as the phrase "a major contributor to acid rain" is a modifier and it is modifying Sulfur dioxide, so i would simply ignore that non essential part, so ideally there should not be pronoun ambiguity in the very first place.

Sulfur dioxide, a major contributor to acid rain, is an especially serious pollutant because it diminishes the respiratory system's ability to deal with all other pollutants.

However ,for the purpose of learning pronoun ambiguity the explanation given be Ron and other members is appreciated .
If any member has a different view feel free to comment.

Thank you
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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal) [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2016, 04:28
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Pronoun Ambiguity: NOT an absolute rule. (by Ron Purewal)   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2016, 04:28
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