GMAT Verbal : Correcting Pronoun Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #211 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

They gave gifts to he and I.

Possible Answers:

to he and I

to he and me

to me and him

to him and me

to him and I

Correct answer:

to him and me

Explanation:

This sentence uses the wrong case of "he" and "I." Think about it: if these pronouns were in separate sentences, you would not say "to he" or "to I." You give a gift "to him" or "to me." Furthermore, the first person pronoun (I/me) should always come after other pronouns in a group. The correct choice is, "to him and me."

Example Question #212 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

My mother told we to play outside.

Possible Answers:

My mother told use to play outside.

My mother told us to play outside.

We were told by my mother to play outside.

My mother told we to play outside.

My mother said that we should play outside.

Correct answer:

My mother told us to play outside.

Explanation:

This sentence uses the wrong pronoun. "We" is always the subject of a clause; the correct form here is "us." The correct choice is "My mother told us to play outside" because it is the most concise option that fixes this issue. "We were told by my mother to play outside" is technically grammatically correct, but it is unnecessarily in the passive voice, and thus obviously a less concise choice than the correct answer option.

Example Question #213 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

My friend and me went to the park.

Possible Answers:

My friend and we went

My friend and us went

My friend and I went

My friend and me went

My friend and he went

Correct answer:

My friend and I went

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "me." Rephrasing the sentence a bit, "Me went to the park" does not make much sense. "Me" is only used when it is the object of another word (verb, preposition, etc.). The correct form is "I;" the other choices make no sense because it changes the meaning of the sentence. The correct choice is, "My friend and I went."

Example Question #213 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

Bethany, who I borrowed the movie from, will be back in town next week.

Possible Answers:

from whom I borrowed the movie

who I borrowed the movie from

whom I borrowed the movie from

from who I borrowed the movie

who I borrowed the movie

Correct answer:

from whom I borrowed the movie

Explanation:

This sentence contains two error: misuse of the pronoun "who" and a dangling preposition (from). First, the relative clause could be rephrased as "I borrowed the movie from her. The word "her" functions as the object in this phrase, so, likewise, "who" should function as the object in the relative clause. "Who," though, is always the subject of a sentence; the correct form is "whom." Furthermore, prepositions should never end a clause; it would be most appropriate for the from to appear before "whom." The correct choice is, "from whom I borrowed the movie."

Example Question #211 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

The speaker, who many wanted to speak at their events, always had a packed schedule.

Possible Answers:

The speaker, whom many wanted to speak at their events

The speaker, that many wanted to speak at their events

The speaker, who many wanted to speak at their events

The speaker, who's many wanted to speak at their events

The speaker, which many wanted to speak at their events

Correct answer:

The speaker, whom many wanted to speak at their events

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "who." Specifically, it is in the wrong case. If the clause "who many wanted to speak at their events" were to be rephrased, it would be "Many wanted her to speak at their events." The word that "who" is substituting for is the object of this clause; therefore, the correct form is "whom." The correct choice is, "The speaker, whom many wanted to speak at their events."

Example Question #212 : 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.

The professor, who many students admire, is retiring soon.

Possible Answers:

The professor, who many students admire, is

The professor, whom many students admire, is

The professor, which many students admire, is

The professor who many students admire is

The professor, that many students admire, is

Correct answer:

The professor, whom many students admire, is

Explanation:

This sentence uses the wrong case of the word "who." If we were to reword the relative clause,  "who many students admire" would become "many students admire him." Since the "him" is the direct object of the word "admire," the correct choice is "whom ("who" is used when it is the subject of the clause, "whom" when it is a direct object)." Note also that the word "that" does not begin a new clause, so that choice would be incorrect since the commas would have to be omitted; also, "which" is never used for humans, always "who." The correct choice is, "The professor, whom many students admire, is."

Example Question #216 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

The stunt actor, whom was driving, flipped the car.

Possible Answers:

whom was driving, flipped the car.

who's was driving, flipped the car.

that was driving, flipped the car.

who was driving, flipped the car.

which was driving, flipped the car.

Correct answer:

who was driving, flipped the car.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the pronoun "whom." "Whom" is used when the word it refers to is acting as the direct object of something in the clause it appears. Rewording the relative clause would change "whom was driving" to "he was driving." Since "he" is the subject of the clause, the correct word here is "who." Note that "that" does not begin a relative clause, so using this word would mean the commas would need to be omitted for the sentence to be correct. The correct choice is, "who was driving, flipped the car."

Example Question #64 : Correcting Pronoun Errors: Case

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 advisor, whom helped her with her project, gave her a great recommendation.

Possible Answers:

which helped her with her project

that helped her with her project

whom helped her with her project

who helped her with her project

he helped her with her project

Correct answer:

who helped her with her project

Explanation:

This sentence misuses the word "whom." "Whom" is only used when the pronoun's placement in the relative clause acts as the object of something. If we reworded this, "he helped her with her project" would be the best choice. Since "he" is the subject, the correct choice is "who." Note that "that" would not take a comma before (or after) the word, and "which" can never be used with humans. The correct choice is, "who helped her with her project."

Example Question #212 : Correcting Pronoun 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 he set up the game, that was very complicated, the other players prepared food.

Possible Answers:

which

that

being

who

whom

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 #213 : Correcting Pronoun 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.

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

Possible Answers:

whom

who's

that

which

who

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."

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