Pronoun usage | GMAT SC
A pronoun takes the place of a noun.
The new phone is designed for business use, but it can take hi-resolution pictures as well
The pronoun ‘it’ replaces the noun ‘phone’.
Agreement between noun and pronoun
The pronoun must agree in number with the noun that it replaces.
The committee was asked to submit its final report by Thursday
In the above example, the noun 'committee', being a collective noun, is singular.
Therefore, it takes the singular pronoun ‘its’
The committee members felt they needed some more time to deliberate on the issue
In the above example, the pronoun refers to the (committee) members (plural) and not to the committee (singular).
Therefore, the pronoun takes the plural form ‘they’
Correct use of Pronoun Case
Pronouns given below can be used in three forms:
– where the pronoun is the subject of the verb in the sentence
Correct: We are going for a walk
Incorrect: Us are going for a walk
In the above example, the pronoun ‘we’ is the subject of the verb ‘to go’.
‘We’ is the subject form. The object form of the same pronoun is ‘us’.
Therefore, it is incorrect to say ‘Us are going for a walk’
– where the pronoun is the object of the verb in the sentence
Correct: The girls bought us some chocolates
Incorrect: The girls bought we some chocolates
In the above example, ‘girls’ are the subject of the verb ‘to buy’.
We are the ones for whom chocolates are being bought. But we cannot use ‘we’ in the object form. We must use ‘us’
– where the pronoun indicates ‘belongs to’
Correct: Where are our chocolates?
Incorrect: Where are us chocolates?
In the above example, we are referring to ‘chocolates belonging to us’.
Therefore we use the possessive form of the pronoun i.e. ‘our’