Dear all,

I came acoss the below question. Only one of the following
four parentheses was wrong.

In art, caricature is a pictorial (representation which) the
physical features (of) a person (or object) have been
grossly exaggerated for (comic effect).

The answer was (representation which).
it should be reworded as (representation in which). But
I get confused:

Why didn't we pick (or object) instead? Inferred from
the word "object", I'd directly add "an" object to come
with a person. So we get

the physical features of a person or an object have been
grossly exaggerated for comic effect.

Can anyone explain why?

Thank you so much.
Hello, runner Emotion: smile
I don't know if this will be very easy to understand. It will depend, perhaps, on how familiar you are with syntactic analisis.

"a person or object" is a noun phrase which has two heads: person and object. Both heads appear in coordination (linked by the conjunction "or").
The indefinite article "a" doesn't modify the noun "person" only; it modifies the whole construction "person or object".
"a" is a premodifier of the whole noun phrase and, within that construction are the two heads (nouns).

The construction "a person or an object", which you suggested, is also possible. Both are grammatically correct.

runner (numbers)--

Although I don't see anything in the dictionary that specifically prohibits 'caricature' from being applied to objects, the word most often refers to a satiric or exaggerated portrait of a person. But, my dictionary also lists 'literary style, etc.' as possible objects of caricature. So, you're right; 'or object' is OK. I think you have encountered a poor test or homework question.

 miriam's reply was promoted to an answer.