Pronoun antecedent agreement is a crucial aspect of effective writing. It ensures that the pronoun used in a sentence correctly matches the number of its antecedent, that is, the noun it represents. Failure to observe this agreement often leads to confusion and ambiguity in writing. In this article, we will explore examples of pronoun antecedent agreement in number.
Incorrect: Each of the students brought their books to class.
Correct: Each of the students brought his or her book to class.
In this example, the pronoun “their” does not agree in number with its antecedent “Each,” which is singular. To fix this, we can use the pronoun “his or her” to indicate that each student brought one book to class.
Incorrect: The team celebrated their victory with a parade.
Correct: The team celebrated its victory with a parade.
Here, the pronoun “their” does not agree with the singular antecedent “team.” The correct pronoun to use is “its” to indicate that the team, as a unit, celebrated its victory.
Incorrect: The employees were happy with their bonuses, and they spent it on vacations.
Correct: The employees were happy with their bonuses, and they spent them on vacations.
In this example, the pronoun “it” does not agree with the plural antecedent “bonuses.” The correct pronoun to use is “them” to match the plural antecedent. This ensures that the sentence is clear and correctly conveys the intended meaning.
Incorrect: The staff includes a receptionist, a manager, and they work together as a team.
Correct: The staff includes a receptionist, a manager, and they work together as a team.
In this example, the pronoun “they” does not have an antecedent to match. The correct way to revise the sentence is to include a noun that matches “they,” like this: “The receptionist, manager, and staff work together as a team.”
Incorrect: Everyone was tired after their long hike, but they enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
Correct: Everyone was tired after the long hike, but he or she enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
In this example, the pronoun “their” does not match the singular antecedent “everyone.” To solve this problem, we can use “he or she” to indicate that each individual was tired after the hike but enjoyed the scenery.
In conclusion, pronoun antecedent agreement is an essential aspect of clear and effective writing. It helps writers avoid ambiguity and confusion in their text, ensuring that readers can easily comprehend the intended meaning of their message. By adhering to this agreement, you can create cohesive and well-structured content that is easy to read and understand.