GMAT Verbal : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Case

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #671 : Sentence Correction

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

While he set up the game, that was very complicated, the other players prepared food.

Possible Answers:

being

which

whom

who

that

Correct answer:

which

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "that." The word "that" is never separated from the preceding clause with a comma. Both commas would have to be omitted in order for this choice to be correct. Since the antecedent of this pronoun is the word "game," which is an object, the appropriate choice is "which."

Example Question #672 : Sentence Correction

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

They visited the man whom wrote the most popular novel of the year.

Possible Answers:

which

who

whom

who's

that

Correct answer:

who

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the pronoun "whom." "Whom" is used when it acts as the object of another word in a clause. In this sentence, however, "whom" is in the place of the subject. If you replaced "whom" with another pronoun, you would use "he" (he wrote the most popular novel...). The correct choice is "who."

Example Question #673 : Sentence Correction

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The comittee decided that him deserved the award for his achievements.

Possible Answers:

her

him

he

his

she

Correct answer:

he

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "him." "Him" is the form used when the pronoun is the object of another word, but it is acting as the subject. The correct choice is "he" (the use of "his" later in the subject indicates the subject is male).

Example Question #222 : Correcting Word Usage Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

While writing his book, the author, whom had written only one other novel, toured around the country.

Possible Answers:

his book, the author, having had written

his book, the author, whom had written

his book, the author, who had written

his book, the author, which had written

his book, the author, that had written

Correct answer:

his book, the author, who had written

Explanation:

This sentence contains an error in pronoun case. The word  "whom" is only used when it functions as the object in a clause. As used, however, it functions as the subject of that clause; rewording the sentence would change "whom had written only one other novel" to "he had written only one other novel." The appropriate choice is "who." Note that "which" is inappropriate, since the word "author" presumably refers to humans. The correct choice is, "his book, the author, who had written."

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