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rx_11
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a pronoun in a parallel structure, ambiguous or not?

by rx_11 Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:13 am

Hi,everyone!

I have got a problem with pronoun and its antecent in parallel structure.

In ManhattanGMAT 4th page233, you said that if a sentense is in parallel structures, the pronoun and the antecedent should agree in case. In particular, a subject pronoun in one clause often refers to a noun in subject position. I got somewhat confused with this point. Do you mean that if a pronoun and its antecent are put in a parallel structure such as X....and IT......, IT will clearly and unambiguously refer to X no matter there are many eligible antecedent between X and IT???

Moreover, in this page cited a sentense "Although the company has had increasing revenues for years because of ITS well-designed products and ITS excellent management team, in the current economic climate IT may finally experience sales declines."

There are three IT in this sentence and you have a conclusion that the last IT is not ambiguous because ITS are repeated and they are in parallel structure. If we meet this sentense in a real GMAT test, is the three IT really not ambiguous? Or, which one should we choose in a real GMAT text?

1. Although the company has had increasing revenues for years because of ITS well-designed products and ITS excellent management team, in the current economic climate IT may finally experience sales declines.

2.Although the company has had increasing revenues for years because of ITS well-designed products and ITS excellent management team, in the current economic climate the company may finally experience sales declines.

which one?
jnelson0612
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Re: a pronoun in a parallel structure, ambiguous or not?

by jnelson0612 Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:10 pm

Hi rx_11,
This is a good question about a difficult issue. As the book states, the issues of repeats, promixity, and case are NOT absolutes, but can help you figure out whether the pronoun is being used properly.

In the sentence you cite, notice that there are two clauses:

1) Although the company has had increasing revenues for years because of ITS well-designed products and ITS excellent management team,
AND
2) in the current economic climate IT may finally experience sales declines.

Clearly in clause one ITS is referring to the company, and notice that the company is the subject of the clause.

In clause two, IT is the subject of the clause. Because the company is the subject of the first clause, and these clauses are parallel, it is logical to conclude that IT refers to the company as well, since "the company" and "IT" are both the subjects of their respective clauses.

The book also points out the sheer number of repeats of ITS and IT. The first two repeats are clearly referring to "the company"; thus, the third is very likely referring to the company as well.

Based on the two pieces of evidence both supporting the use of IT to refer to the company, you can conclude that IT is the proper word to use in the second clause.

Thank you,
Jamie Nelson
ManhattanGMAT Instructor