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Pronoun usage of its instead of their

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Pronoun usage of its instead of their [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2015, 15:21
PRONOUN USAGE OF ITS INSTEAD OF THEIR.



The biggest economic advancement that US and south Korea have attempted - a free trade agreement signed in April 2007- hasn't been completed because it awaits ratification by its respective lawmakers.


In this sentence the pronoun it refers to the antecedent "agreement" that's logical , however the usage pronoun "its" in phrase "its respective lawmakers "is incorrect. As per E-GMAT it should have been "their" instead of "its".


What i think is pronoun "its" refers to the antecedent agreement that's between the US and South Korea, so agreement has two owners thus "its respective lawmakers" makes sense to me.


Eg : The dog is adopted by two brothers, and Its new owners always take good care of their newly adopted friend.

In this example dog is singular ,and it has two owners so if have to refer to the owners we can say dog's owners or its owners ...Thus in the original sentence pronoun "its" is meant for the agreement that belongs to The US and South Korea.

Hope that makes sense to GMAT experts What i'm thinking.
Please explain why their is correct instead of its.
Thank you


EDITED THE ARTICLE SO THAT OTHERS COULD UNDERSTAND ABOVE THE PROBLEM AND COULD LEARN FROM IT ..BTW I UNDERSTOOD THE MISTAKE THAT I MADE !!! THANK YOU SO MUCH MAGOOSH !!!! :)
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Last edited by jaspreets on 23 Sep 2015, 20:08, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Pronoun usage of its instead of their [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2015, 14:29
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jaspreets wrote:
The biggest economic advancement that US and south Korea have attempted - a free trade agreement signed in April 2007- hasn't been completed because it awaits ratification by its respective lawmakers.


In this sentence the pronoun it refers to the antecedent "agreement" that's logical , however "its respective lawmakers "is incorrect , as per E-GMAT it should have been "their" instead of "its". I can't understand why this so? The agreement has pronoun "it" that is singular and that has two owners, so if we have to refer to the antecedents " The US and South Korea", then the singular pronoun its should refer back to owners.

Eg : The dog is adopted by two brothers, and Its new owners always take good care of their newly adopted friend.

Its refers to dog and their refers to brothers.
But why as per GMAT this usage is incorrect?
Please explain.
Thank you

Dear jaspreets,
I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, I am not quite sure I understand your problem. In the practice sentence you cite
"US and South Korea' = plural = antecedent of plural pronoun "their"
"agreement" = singular = antecedent of the plural pronoun "it"
The "lawmakers" don't belong to the "agreement" -- they belong to the two countries. The US has lawmakers (the folks in the US Congress, to be specific). South Korea also has lawmakers. Agreements do not have lawmakers; nobody is elected or employed by an agreement. Does all this answer your question about this problem?

In your sample sentence . . .
The dog is adopted by two brothers, and its new owners always take good care of their newly adopted friend
. . . there is absolutely no error. Pronoun usage is exactly as it would be on the GMAT.

Incidentally, a second problem in the original uncorrected sentence
...hasn't been completed because it awaits ratification by its respective lawmakers.
Even if both pronouns were correct in their agreement with antecedents, there's still the BIG ERROR that we can use the SAME PRONOUN in the SAME CLAUSE to refer to TWO DIFFERENT ANTECEDENT. This is a major mistake, wrong 100% of the time on the GMAT.

Here are a couple blogs you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-sente ... and-logic/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Pronoun usage of its instead of their [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2015, 19:47
mikemcgarry wrote:
jaspreets wrote:
The biggest economic advancement that US and south Korea have attempted - a free trade agreement signed in April 2007- hasn't been completed because it awaits ratification by its respective lawmakers.


In this sentence the pronoun it refers to the antecedent "agreement" that's logical , however "its respective lawmakers "is incorrect , as per E-GMAT it should have been "their" instead of "its". I can't understand why this so? The agreement has pronoun "it" that is singular and that has two owners, so if we have to refer to the antecedents " The US and South Korea", then the singular pronoun its should refer back to owners.

Eg : The dog is adopted by two brothers, and Its new owners always take good care of their newly adopted friend.

Its refers to dog and their refers to brothers.
But why as per GMAT this usage is incorrect?
Please explain.
Thank you

Dear jaspreets,
I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, I am not quite sure I understand your problem. In the practice sentence you cite
"US and South Korea' = plural = antecedent of plural pronoun "their"
"agreement" = singular = antecedent of the plural pronoun "it"
The "lawmakers" don't belong to the "agreement" -- they belong to the two countries. The US has lawmakers (the folks in the US Congress, to be specific). South Korea also has lawmakers. Agreements do not have lawmakers; nobody is elected or employed by an agreement. Does all this answer your question about this problem?

In your sample sentence . . .
The dog is adopted by two brothers, and its new owners always take good care of their newly adopted friend
. . . there is absolutely no error. Pronoun usage is exactly as it would be on the GMAT.

Incidentally, a second problem in the original uncorrected sentence
...hasn't been completed because it awaits ratification by its respective lawmakers.
Even if both pronouns were correct in their agreement with antecedents, there's still the BIG ERROR that we can use the SAME PRONOUN in the SAME CLAUSE to refer to TWO DIFFERENT ANTECEDENT. This is a major mistake, wrong 100% of the time on the GMAT.

Here are a couple blogs you may find helpful:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-pronoun-traps/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-sente ... and-logic/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)




MIKE,
THANK YOU SO MUCH.I couldn't understand the above problem for one day but have understood now.I have edited the article so other members could understand the issue better.


What now i have understood is the pronoun "their" refers to the respective lawmakers of The US and South Korea. So in other words we can say

The biggest economic advancement that US and south Korea have attempted - a free trade agreement signed in April 2007- hasn't been completed because The agreement (it) awaits ratification by The US' and South Korea 's(their) respective lawmakers.

Thank you once again mike your altruism is highly appreciated .

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Re: Pronoun usage of its instead of their [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2016, 11:36
Great! I jumped in here after seeing this example on egmat. Thanks for the explanation Mike.
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Re: Pronoun usage of its instead of their [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2017, 01:10
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i understand their refers to US & SK, ...but shouldn't it be ...."ratification by the respective lawmakers."

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Re: Pronoun usage of its instead of their [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2017, 05:57
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'ITS' is used when dealing with a singular subject. For instance, "I like the car, its color is so bright". As to "their" it deals with plurals. For instance "I like the cars, their color is so bright'. I hope my comment was useful for you. Good Luck!

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Re: Pronoun usage of its instead of their   [#permalink] 06 Nov 2017, 05:57
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