Grammar Guide: the usage of “those”

Confused about how “those” works on the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT? Let’s take a look at a question from Manhattan GMAT that uses this word!

Salt deposits and moisture threaten to destroy the Mohenjo-Daro excavation in Pakistan, the site of an ancient civilization that flourished at the same time as the civilizations in the Nile delta and the river valleys of Tigris and Euphrates.

A) that flourished at the same time as the civilizations
B) that had flourished at the same time as had the civilizations
C) that flourished at the same time those had
D) flourishing at the same time as those did
E) flourishing at the same time as those were

In general, “those” is the plural of “that.” It’s in a group called “determiners” along with “this”, “that”, “these”, “those,” “here” and there that are technically pronouns but often function more like adjectives.

For C, D, and E, “those” is meant to mean something like “the ones” and could be used as a pronoun to replace a plural antecedent if there was one in the sentence, and if the construction was parallel.

The correct answer is (A).

Learnist: 10 Tips to Rock the ACT Test this December 14th!

December 14th is the final ACT Test date of 2013. Planning to take the exam? Here’s how to focus your studies and rock the test!

Step 1 – Commit to a Study Schedule! To make sure you get the ACT test date and testing center you want, register early, at least 2-3 months before the exam. That way you can create a study schedule, working backwards from the test date. Be realistic with yourself? How much time can you commit each week to ACT practice questions? Work in 2-3 hour blocks maximum. It’s better to study 20-30 minutes a day than 4 hours once a week.

This site offers free 1, 2, or 3 month schedules! While the 3-month one is ideal, if you’re planning to take the December exam, you’ll want to modify the 1-2 month plans to fit your needs.

Step 2 – Focus on your weaknesses ASAP! Are you a slow reader? Is your ACT Math knowledge so-so? Grammar got you down? Know going in to your ACT test prep what areas need more work and plan to address them first. You’ll need more time for the weaknesses. Don’t put off studying for a section just because you dread it!

Luckily, the ACT SparkNotes website gives a great breakdown of what you’ll see on Test Day, so you can start to get a sense of what will need the most work.

Check out steps 3-10 on this Learnist board: 10 Tips to Rock the ACT Test!