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Pronouns

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Intern
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 23
GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V30

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28 Dec 2017, 01:38
Compared to the other drugs launched by it, a lifesaving drug launched by Bio Pharmaceuticals has shown remarkable results as evident in its profits that rose by 20 percent during the second quarter of the current year.

Is the use of its correct in the above sentence? Could it point to the drug?
Intern
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 23
GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V30

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30 Dec 2017, 10:24
Compared to the other drugs launched by it, a lifesaving drug launched by Bio Pharmaceuticals has shown remarkable results as evident in its profits that rose by 20 percent during the second quarter of the current year.

Is the use of its correct in the above sentence? Could it point to the drug?
Senior SC Moderator
Joined: 22 May 2016
Posts: 2329

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30 Dec 2017, 11:51
1
Bakshi121092 wrote:
Compared to the other drugs launched by it, a lifesaving drug launched by Bio Pharmaceuticals has shown remarkable results as evident in its profits that rose by 20 percent during the second quarter of the current year.

Is the use of its correct in the above sentence? Could it point to the drug?

ABakshi121092 , to answer your second question, no, its could not refer to the drug.
The logical referent (the noun to which its refers) is "Bio Pharmaceuticals."

Its is a possessive adjective* (a possessive pronoun followed by a noun, which modifies but does not replace an antecedent noun).
Logically, though preceded by both "drug" and "Bio Pharmaceuticals," its profits could not refer to the drug.
I highlight profits because that word tells you the noun to which its points: Bio Pharmaceuticals.

Drugs do not possess, have, or own profits. Companies do.

To answer your first question a bit indirectly, that which I highlighted is grammatically incorrect, confusing, and ambiguous.

Its contributes to the murkiness. Other elements contribute more.

Stated differently, I could fix this sentence by changing elements other than "its profits."
The phrase is a casualty of poor construction.

Hope that helps.

*If you would like more information, please see GMAT Club Grammar Book: Pronouns - Possessive Adjectives , and, from the Veritas blog linked permanently here, Pronoun Ambiguity on the GMAT
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30 Dec 2017, 12:57
1
Bakshi121092 wrote:
Compared to the other drugs launched by it, a lifesaving drug launched by Bio Pharmaceuticals has shown remarkable results as evident in its profits that rose by 20 percent during the second quarter of the current year.

Is the use of its correct in the above sentence? Could it point to the drug?

You would have to look at the entire SC problem to make your decision.

If the problem lets you choose between a possibly ambiguous 'its' and a noun (such as 'the company's'), then you should choose the option that uses the noun. That assumes there's nothing else wrong with either answer choice!

But if you're stuck with 'its', then don't worry about it. Move on to another grammar issue.

These articles go into more depth:

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -the-gmat/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... orrection/
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Re: Pronouns &nbs [#permalink] 30 Dec 2017, 12:57
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