SC - Pronoun reference

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SC - Pronoun reference

by ankit0703 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:47 am
Marconi conceived of the radio as a tool for private conversation that could substitute for the telephone; instead, it has become precisely the opposite, a tool for communicating with a large, public audience.

This is the grammatically correct sentence. My doubt is, how IT mentioned in the sentence is referring to radio?

As far I learned, It should refer to the subject of preios clause, i.e. Marconi ?

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by eagleeye » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:38 am
ankit0703 wrote:Marconi conceived of the radio as a tool for private conversation that could substitute for the telephone; instead, it has become precisely the opposite, a tool for communicating with a large, public audience.

This is the grammatically correct sentence. My doubt is, how IT mentioned in the sentence is referring to radio?

As far I learned, It should refer to the subject of previous clause, i.e. Marconi ?
Hi ankit0703:

The antecedent of the pronoun should be non-ambiguous. The word "it" cannot refer to a person. It can only refer to inanimate things, objects, collective nouns etc. but never a person. Since, in the sentence at case, radio is an inanimate object, and Marconi is a proper noun, "it" refers back to the radio. Since "it" can only refer to the radio in this case, the sentence is correct.

Let me know if this helps :)

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by [email protected] » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:02 am
In addition to what eagleeye said, we do have to apply a little bit of logic when matching pronouns with their antecedents. In this case, "it" is a tool for communicating with a large, public audience. In the previous clause, we have "the radio" referred to as a tool as well.
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by ankit0703 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:30 pm
[email protected] wrote:In addition to what eagleeye said, we do have to apply a little bit of logic when matching pronouns with their antecedents. In this case, "it" is a tool for communicating with a large, public audience. In the previous clause, we have "the radio" referred to as a tool as well.
If we remove the word tool from the latter half of the sentence, could IT be ambiguous? It could refer to radio or telephone?

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by shekhar.kataria » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:53 am
IT in the second clause is subject pronoun. it refers to the subject noun of the previous clause.


Experts please correct if the point above is wrong.

If we remove the word tool from the latter half of the sentence, could IT be ambiguous? It could refer to radio or telephone?
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by [email protected] » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:23 am
shekhar.kataria wrote:IT in the second clause is subject pronoun. it refers to the subject noun of the previous clause.


Experts please correct if the point above is wrong.

If we remove the word tool from the latter half of the sentence, could IT be ambiguous? It could refer to radio or telephone?
Well, the subject of the first clause is Marconi, but I think you're on the right track.

The first clause says that the radio could substitute for the telephone.

The second says it has become the the opposite (of the telephone).

Thus, "it" must be "radio."
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