Pronouns and antecedents are essential elements of clear and effective writing. Pronouns are words that refer to nouns or other pronouns, while antecedents are the nouns or pronouns to which the pronouns refer. In order to avoid confusion and ambiguity, it`s crucial to make sure that pronouns and antecedents agree in terms of number, gender, and person. Here are some examples of pronoun and antecedent agreement that illustrate this principle in action.
1. “When a student finishes their assignment, they should submit it to the teacher for grading.”
In this example, the pronoun “their” refers to the noun “student.” However, “student” is singular, while “their” is plural. To achieve agreement, we can use the singular “his or her” instead:
“When a student finishes his or her assignment, he or she should submit it to the teacher for grading.”
2. “The company announced that they were planning to launch a new product line.”
Here, the pronoun “they” refers to the noun “company.” However, “company” is singular, while “they” is plural. To correct this, we can substitute a singular pronoun:
“The company announced that it was planning to launch a new product line.”
3. “After the team won the championship, they celebrated by dousing each other with champagne.”
In this case, the noun “team” is singular, while the pronoun “they” is plural. To maintain agreement, we can switch to a singular pronoun:
“After the team won the championship, it celebrated by dousing each other with champagne.”
4. “My sister and her friends went to the beach, and they had a great time.”
Here, the antecedent of the pronoun “they” is “sister and her friends,” which is plural. However, the pronoun “they” is ambiguous about whether it refers to “sister” or “friends.” To clarify, we can use a plural pronoun that explicitly refers to “friends”:
“My sister and her friends went to the beach, and they all had a great time.”
By paying attention to pronoun and antecedent agreement, you can make your writing clearer and more precise. Remember to check for consistency in number, gender, and person, and don`t hesitate to revise your sentences until they convey your intended meaning accurately.