Check GMAT Club Decision Tracker for the Latest School Decision Releases https://gmatclub.com/AppTrack

 It is currently 26 May 2017, 03:33

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# Events & Promotions

###### Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

# pronoun reference

Author Message
SVP
Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 1538
Schools: CBS
WE 1: 4 years (Consulting)
Followers: 44

Kudos [?]: 1197 [0], given: 2

### Show Tags

26 Jun 2010, 09:29
00:00

Difficulty:

(N/A)

Question Stats:

0% (00:00) correct 0% (00:00) wrong based on 0 sessions

### HideShow timer Statistics

Sorry for this basic question:

Imagine this sentence:

A machine searching for extraterrestrial life, will not find it.

I have problems with the pronoun "it": how I know to which does "it" refer to? to the subject machine? to the object??

_________________

The sky is the limit
800 is the limit

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Director
Status: Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. It's a dare. Impossible is nothing.
Affiliations: University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 961
Location: Singapore
Followers: 24

Kudos [?]: 805 [0], given: 36

### Show Tags

27 Jun 2010, 03:25
noboru
IMO : You can't. "it" is ambiguous. Since "searching" is not a verb its a gerund.

"find" is a verb and "it" is in object position. "machine" and "extraterrestrial life" are both singular which causes confusion.

Where did you see such a sentence ?

noboru wrote:
Sorry for this basic question:

Imagine this sentence:

A machine searching for extraterrestrial life, will not find it.

I have problems with the pronoun "it": how I know to which does "it" refer to? to the subject machine? to the object??

_________________

Please press kudos if you like my post.

SVP
Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 1538
Schools: CBS
WE 1: 4 years (Consulting)
Followers: 44

Kudos [?]: 1197 [0], given: 2

### Show Tags

27 Jun 2010, 03:32
nusmavrik wrote:
noboru
IMO : You can't. "it" is ambiguous. Since "searching" is not a verb its a gerund.

"find" is a verb and "it" is in object position. "machine" and "extraterrestrial life" are both singular which causes confusion.

Where did you see such a sentence ?

noboru wrote:
Sorry for this basic question:

Imagine this sentence:

A machine searching for extraterrestrial life, will not find it.

I have problems with the pronoun "it": how I know to which does "it" refer to? to the subject machine? to the object??

The sentence is part of a CR passage, and when I saw it, I thought: "mmm...if this were a SC, there would be ambiguity??"
Any more thoughts?
Thanks,
_________________

The sky is the limit
800 is the limit

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Director
Status: Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. It's a dare. Impossible is nothing.
Affiliations: University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 961
Location: Singapore
Followers: 24

Kudos [?]: 805 [0], given: 36

### Show Tags

27 Jun 2010, 06:19
Yes but make a wholesome call - not just based on pronoun ambiguity. If gmat has to muddy the correct answer - it will make it unattractive - Not the girl in the baywatch

If this sentence is in CR then I will assume that "it" is referring to extraterrestrial life.
noboru wrote:

The sentence is part of a CR passage, and when I saw it, I thought: "mmm...if this were a SC, there would be ambiguity??"
Any more thoughts?
Thanks,

_________________

Please press kudos if you like my post.

CEO
Status: Nothing comes easy: neither do I want.
Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 2786
Location: Malaysia
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
Schools: ISB '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V31
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
Followers: 238

Kudos [?]: 1726 [0], given: 235

### Show Tags

27 Jun 2010, 06:46
noboru wrote:
Sorry for this basic question:

Imagine this sentence:

A machine searching for extraterrestrial life, will not find it.

I have problems with the pronoun "it": how I know to which does "it" refer to? to the subject machine? to the object??

It refers to "extraterrestrial life". The use of pronoun is ambiguous only if it creates two logical sentences by refering to two or more antecedents.
_________________

Fight for your dreams :For all those who fear from Verbal- lets give it a fight

Money Saved is the Money Earned

Jo Bole So Nihaal , Sat Shri Akaal

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Gmat test review :
http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-to-710-a-long-journey-without-destination-still-happy-141642.html

Senior Manager
Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 410
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 109 [0], given: 26

### Show Tags

27 Jun 2010, 21:21
to clarify, your sentence really doesn't make sense unless it [your sentence] is corrected by either the following:

This machine, searching for extraterrestrial life, will not find it.

In this example, i made the present participle + prepositional phrase modifier (searching for ET life) a nonessential (nonrestrictive) modifer. To do this, i need to specific the machine with the word This. [Note also that searching is NOT a gerund in this example; searching is serving as an adjective (present participle to be exact) that modifies machine.]

Or, you can correct the sentence by removing the comma:

A machine searching for extraterrestrial life will not find it.

It can be referred to machine or to life... ask the question: does it make sense to say, a machine will not find this machine? sounds quite funny, but still, it can be ambiguous even if it's quite obvious that the it should refer to life.

hope that helps
_________________

kudos if you like me (or my post)

Re: pronoun reference   [#permalink] 27 Jun 2010, 21:21
Similar topics Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Pronoun/Parallel 5 28 Aug 2011, 00:59
2 Pronoun reference doubt 5 14 Dec 2010, 18:14
2 Pronoun Question 9 08 Jun 2010, 10:01
Pronoun problem 2 26 May 2009, 01:19
it is fine to have a possessive pronoun precede the referent 8 28 Aug 2007, 13:03
Display posts from previous: Sort by