Pronoun Errors

Rules for  GMAT GrammarTo get a good score in GMAT Sentence Correction, you don’t have to be a Grammar Expert. By focussing on few essential topics and rules of GMAT Grammar, you can improve your accuracy to 95%.

Topics that GMAT Sentence Correction section regularly ask are:

1) Subject – Verb Agreement

As the name suggests, the sentence should be constructed in such a way that subject and verb agree with noun count and usage.

It means that when you are using a singular/plural noun as the subject the verb should be used accordingly. Here is an example:

Let us (subject) takes (verb) the GMAT

Correct Usage: Let us (subject) take (verb) the GMAT

For English speakers, this example might seem too easy. But you can expect a complex sentence structure in the real test. Knewton has shared a good example:

The associate who brings cookies to work every day for his coworkers have been promised first choice of projects by the managing director

Watch the...

GMAT Sentence correction

The above is no substitute for reading each sentence carefully, predicting what the correct answer might look like, and finding it in the answer choices of course.  A little more on each of the decision points:

•  Whole sentence underlined: There isn't much to say about this.  With no part of the sentence left static, there's more to keep in mind; the other decisions still help.

Answer start or end with a verb: Beware nouns close to the verb that may distract you from the real subject

Answer start or end with a pronoun: Read carefully for the pronoun's antecedent (the word it's replacing in the sentence)

Modifying phrase, set apart by comma(s): These phrases are easier to spot and work with when they start the sentence, since you need only look at the first thing after the first comma, but these modifying phrases can appear anywhere.

Separation of subject and verb: The further apart they are, the more words there will be to confuse you.  Try...

Some GMAT sentence correction questions test not only for the accepted rules of grammar but also for the specific preferred style of the GMAT. Luckily, “who” vs. “whom,” is not one of those issues; this is a pretty straightforward issue, and is usually not tested in a complicated way. However, since even the most knowledgeable and educated writers sometimes misuse “who” and “whom,” it’s worth reviewing a couple of rules that can help guide you in determining the correct usage of these pronouns.

1. If someone were to ask a question about the sentence, would the answer be “him/her/them” or “he/she/they”?

This is probably the most effective way to remember the difference between “whom” and “who,” and most of the time, this will be enough to help you answer correctly. If a question about the action being described would be answered with “him,” “her,” or “them,” then the correct form is “whom.” If a question about the action being described would be answered with “he,” “she,” or “they,” then the correct form is “who.” Just remember this: the words with M’s at the end go together. They = Who, and Them = Whom. Here’s a basic sentence addressing this issue:

The Dalmation is a high-strung, energetic dog, and has historically been associated with firefighters, who/whom originally used the animal to guard...

Pronoun GMATErrors in pronouns—words like he, she, it, they, our, etc.—and antecedents—the words that the pronouns refer to—are among the most common errors in English Grammar.  Take this sentence as an example:

Sentence A:  I spoke to someone at the help desk, and asked what kinds of product returns the company allows; they told me that they only take unopened items.

This sentence wouldn’t set off any “grammar alarms” for the average reader and speaker of English; however, you, intrepid GMAT test-taker, need to be wiser than average and spot a couple of pronoun/antecedent errors, such as:

1.  “They” and “their” are plural pronouns, and CAN’T be used as gender-neutral singular pronouns

One of the most frequently-committed grammar sins in every day speech is the use of “they” and “their” to indicate gender neutrality.  Sentence A, above, says “I spoke to someone.”  The sentence later says, “they told me,” and based on context it is clear that the “they” in question is the “someone at the help desk.”  “Someone” is...

Categories : Pronoun Errors

Able to create energy from an external source in both the presence and the absence of oxygen, Plant System XYZ is the only one of the six-kingdom classification system that displays this.

A. is the only one of the six-kingdom classification system that displays
B. is alone out of the six-kingdom classification system since they display
C. alone among the six kingdoms that comprise the classification system displays
D. are the only ones out of the six kingdoms that comprise the classification system in displaying
E. only of the six-kingdom classification system displays


This sentence displays a special kind of pronoun-antecedent agreement error. Describing Plant XYZ as one of something means that the entity that the singular is one of must be plural. Choice C uses a simpler and grammatically correct construction to express the same idea. The correct answer is C.

Answer- Choice C

Categories : Wordiness, Pronoun Errors

The president maintained that the company's value declined less in the second quarter of 2009 than most analysts had expected it to and the price per share will rebound in the third quarter.

A. had expected it to and the price per share will rebound
B. expected and that it will rebound its price per share
C. had expected and that the price per share would rebound
D. expected it would and that the price per share will rebound
E. expected them to and that the price per share would rebound


Choice C eliminates the unnecessary pronoun it altogether, which reduces wordiness, changes will to would, and introduces that before the last clause. Because it fixes all of these mistakes without introducing additional errors, choice C is the correct answer.

Answer - Choice C

GMAT Sentence Correction Decision PointsAs stated in GMAT SC - Use Logic, the pool of required grammar knowledge for the GMAT is likely shallower than you would think; those who memorize hundreds of idiomatic rules or read the cover off of their copy of Strunk & White’s “Elements of Style” are studying counter to the real purpose of the GMAT’s inclusion of Sentence Correction: the idea of “core competencies.”  Corporate Strategy courses in business school will spend quite a bit of time on that notion that each business needs to recognize the handful of things it does extremely well and find opportunities to leverage that.  When businesses stray from their core competencies they tend to struggle mightily, throwing away  resources and providing diminishing returns with increased risk.

For example, McDonald’s has a set of core competencies that allow it to run extremely efficient fast-food operations in high-traffic areas.  It’s natural, then, to acquire Chipotle and replicate the same processes with a different type of fast food...

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