GMAT Verbal : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

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.

We have both read the report, but neither of us will make any comment until the committee talks both to him and to I.

Possible Answers:

until the committee talks both to him and to I.

until the committee talks both to him and to me.

until the committee talks both with him and to I.

until the committee talks to both he and to me.

until a committee talks both to he and to I.

Correct answer:

until the committee talks both to him and to me.

Explanation:

The use of "I" at the end of this sentence is incorrect, as it is a subjective pronoun used as the object of the preposition "to." Pronouns used as objects of prepositions need to be in their objective, not their subjective forms. As it is used in the sentence, "him" is correct, since it is also an object of "to," but it is an objective pronoun. "I," on the other hand, needs to be changed to its objective form, "me." The correct answer choice is the only one that makes this change, "until the committee talks to both him and me."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

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 only time the machine ever ran properly was in it’s original demonstration, but that one exhibition was enough to make the machine’s inventors millions of dollars.

Possible Answers:

ever ran properly was in its original demonstration,

ever ran properly was in its' original demonstration,

ever ran properly was in their original demonstration,

ever ran properly was in it’s original demonstration,

ever ran properly was in that's original demonstration,

Correct answer:

ever ran properly was in its original demonstration,

Explanation:

The use of "it's" as it is used in this is incorrect. "It's" is the contraction of "it is," and not as the possessive form of "it"; the possessive form of "it" is "its." Only one choice uses the correct form, "ever ran properly was in it’s original demonstration," making it the correct answer.

Example Question #1 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

She was always hard on her, battling with low self-esteem since she was a child.

Possible Answers:

hard on herself

hard on her

hard to her

hard with her

hard in herself

Correct answer:

hard on herself

Explanation:

The use of the pronoun "her" in the underlined phrase is confusing, as it is not clear whether this is a new person in the sentence or refers back to the subject. To be more clear, a reflexive pronoun must be used. The correct answer is "hard on herself."

Example Question #2 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

The materials must be brought back to myself as soon as you are done with them.

Possible Answers:

back from me

back to myself

back to me

back from myself

back toward myself

Correct answer:

back to me

Explanation:

The only issue in the sentence as it is written is the use of "myself," a reflexive pronoun, when there is no other first person pronoun to which it can refer back. The only answer choice which both appropriately uses "me," and keeps the same meaning is "back to me."

Example Question #3 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

The information was only given to myself after the rest of the students had seen it all.

Possible Answers:

giving to myself 

giving to me

given to me

gave to myself

given to myself

Correct answer:

given to me

Explanation:

The only issue with the sentence is its use of the reflexive pronoun "myself," despite not previously using a first person pronoun. All reflexive pronouns need an antecedent, or previous pronoun in the same person, to be used correctly, or it should be changed to the simple pronoun. As this is the only problem with the sentence, "given to me" is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #4 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

Those supplies all need to be brought directly to myself.

Possible Answers:

directly from myself.

directly to me.

directly for myself.

directly to myself.

direct to myself.

Correct answer:

directly to me.

Explanation:

The only issue with the sentence is the use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" without a previous use of the first person pronoun. All reflexive pronouns need to refer back to an earlier use of the pronoun in the sentence. The solution to this issue is to change "myself" to the simple "me," making "directly to me" the correct answer choice.

Example Question #5 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

The information needs to be reviewed by yourself before it is sent out.

Possible Answers:

reviewed by you

reviewing by your

reviewed by yourself

reviews by yourself

reviewing by yourself

Correct answer:

reviewed by you

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "yourself" is incorrect in this sentence, as it has no previous "you" to refer back to. "Yourself" needs to simply be replaced by "you," making "reviewed by you" the correct answer choice.

Example Question #6 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Incorrect Usage

The supplies were immediately brought to myself as soon as they were purchased.

Possible Answers:

brought to me

brought to myself

bringing to myself

bringing to me

being brought to myself

Correct answer:

brought to me

Explanation:

The use of "myself" in the sentence is incorrect. "Myself" is a reflexive pronoun, meaning it needs an earlier first person pronoun to refer back to. The appropriate word in this situation is just "me," and that is the only issue with the sentence; therefore, "brought to me" is the correct answer.

Example Question #23 : Improving Sentences

Unlike myself, he has never gotten a speeding ticket on the highway.

Possible Answers:

Unto like myself,

Unlike I,

Unlikely myself,

Unlike me,

Unlike myself,

Correct answer:

Unlike me,

Explanation:

The reflexive pronoun "myself" is absolutely incorrect in this sentence, as there is no regular first person pronoun to which it can refer. "Myself" needs to be changed to the subjective pronoun "me," making "Unlike me" the correct answer choice.

Example Question #24 : Improving Sentences

Most of the time, he brings the newspaper to myself first, then passes it around the office.

Possible Answers:

from myself first

to my own self first

to myself firstly

to myself first

to me first

Correct answer:

to me first

Explanation:

The use of the reflexive pronoun "myself" is absolutely wrong in this sentence, as there is no previous use of the first person pronoun for it to refer to. The pronoun must be changed to the simple first person objective form, "me." As this is the only issue in the sentence, the correct answer choice is "to me first."

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