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SC --pronoun "his"

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zoe Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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SC --pronoun "his"

Post Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:47 pm
Dear friends,
I met a problem that pronoun "his" stand for "Ryonosuke Akutagawa's", details as following:

Ryonosuke Akutagawa's knowledge of the literatures of Europe, China, and that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as the content of his fiction.

A) that of Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing his literary style as much as

B) that of Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, and it informed both his literary style as well as

C) Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style and

D) Japan was instrumental in his development as a writer, as it informed his literary style as much as

E) Japan were instrumental in his development as a writer, informing both his literary style in addition to

you see, his stand for "Ryonosuke Akutagawa's", can pronoun "his" stand for "Ryonosuke Akutagawa's"

it confused me a lot.

please help

thanks in advance
have a nice day
>_~

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zoe Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:37 pm
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
The rules of grammar - unlike those of math - can change over time, and are often subject to debate.

In conclusion, don't worry about this rule!
thanks so much, Ceilidh,

i remember this question you cited, it appears as #123 OG16. but i did not realized this possessive pronoun issue at first glanced.

I believe i will forget a lots of issues at real exam...

have a nice day
>_~

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Post Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:15 am

_________________


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Post Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:14 am
The rules of grammar - unlike those of math - can change over time, and are often subject to debate.

The rule you're referring to is often called "possessive poison": a pronoun should not refer to an antecedent that is itself in the possessive case. You might see this rule in some prep companies' strategy guides (including older editions of Mprep's).

However... this seems to be one of those rules that the GMAT has changed its mind on over time, leading Mprep to strike it from our strategy guides. The question you cite (#79 in OG 13/2015, #58 in OG 2016, don't have the citation yet for 2017) is one of several OG questions in which the correct answer contains a pronoun referring to a possessive antecedent. (The examples I've seen have always used a possessive pronoun to replace a possessive antecedent, but we can't say for certain that this would always be the case).

Here is another one:

Quote:
#109 OG 13/2015

Among the objects found in the excavated temple were small terra-cotta effigies left by supplicants who were either asking the goddess Bona Dea's aid in healing physical and mental ills or thanking her for such help.

(A) in healing physical and mental ills or thanking her for such help
(B) in healing physical and mental ills and to thank her for helping
(C) in healing physical and mental ills, and thanking her for helping
(D) to heal physical and mental ills or to thank her for such help
(E) to heal physical and mental ills or thanking her for such help
Here, the correct answer was A. You'll notice, though, that all of the answer choices use "her" to refer to Bona Dea.

In conclusion, don't worry about this rule!

_________________


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Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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